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Greening Print Marketing: Why Are Printers Green? Survey Reveals Reasons Behind Green Marketing

In my “Greening Print Marketing” posts, I’ve looked at a wide variety of reasons (and ways) for marketers to see their print marketing projects as green. But what about the flip side? Why do printers market their green initiatives?

The number one reason seems to be a reflection of their own personal commitment. In a recent survey by What They Think (Source: “Economic Outlook Webinar with Dr. Joe Webb” 3/26/08), 43% of printers said that their green initiatives were “more important to our company than to our customers at this time.” Only 8% felt that it was more important to their customers than it was to them.

Thirty-five percent felt that promoting their environmental sustainability initiatives was good for their business image. Nearly one-quarter (24%) saw it as a necessary cost of doing business in today’s climate.

What are printers doing to promote a greener earth? Most are taking a minimalist approach, promoting their use of recycled papers and identifying themselves in their marketing and sales materials as being environmentally sensitive businesses.

However . . .

  • 20% do say that they are justifying new equipment purchases because of their more favorable environmental impact
  • 15% have special “green” certifications from independent organizations
  • 7% perform “environmental impact” statements or audits
  • 5% purchase wind power

It may be a slow start, but these represent some real, lasting changes, especially as it involves the purchase of renewable energy and replacing capital investments with those with more favorable environmental impact.

There may be cynics who say that these changes are more marketing than they are personal or business commitments, but who cares? The environment doesn’t care about the motivations of those who make these changes. It only cares about the results.

View all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

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Written by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker has been a commercial and digital printing industry analyst, feature writer, columnist, editor, and author for nearly 20 years. She is known for her meticulous research and no-nonsense perspective. In addition to having written thousands of industry articles for top industry publications, she and Richard Romano have been the face of the well-respected industry research firm The Industry Measure (TrendWatch Graphic Arts) for many years. In her more than 13-year tenure with the firm, she has written countless reports on digital printing, 1:1 (personalized) printing, Web-to-print, personalized URLs, and other hot industry applications. She is also a long-time contributing editor and columnist for Printing News, for which she writes two monthly columns, including "Personal Effects," which features monthly analysis of 1:1 (personalized) printing case studies. She is also the author of three titles for the National Association of Printing Leadership: Designer's Printing Companion, Ink & Color: A Printer's Guide, and Diversifying Via Value-Added Services. As a small, niche publisher (Strong Tower Publishing), she is active in utilizing these technologies in her own business, as well.

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