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Are You Giving This Green Industry Its Due?

Three days ago, I blogged about the EPA’s Green Power Partners site, which lists the top green power users in the country. That post got more traffic in a day than my posts normally get in a month. That was very exciting for me. People clearly care about this issue. At least for me, when all things are equal a company’s commitment to environmental sustainability can make the difference between one product choice and another. I hope it does for others, too.

Let me build on that by saying that there is even more good news than this. Did you notice that the Green Power Partners site also has Top 20 lists by category? These include college & university, local government, retail, on-site, and printers.

What’s interesting here is printers. This is a highly unglamorous category. Why would the EPA care about commercial printing and packaging companies? For the same reasons that anyone interested in environmental sustainability should care about them.

1. Printing is the third largest manufacturing industry in the country

2. Printing is a very aggressive with environmental sustainability, including its use of green power.

Put these together and you have the third largest manufacturing industry making a major move to sustainability. When not just individual companies but an entire industry embraces green technologies and processes, it makes a real difference. That’s exciting!

Yet, where’s all the buzz? E-media! With its 24-hour-a day, 7-days-a-week power usage, its ubiquitous energy-using devices from desktop computers to laptops to servers to cellphones, PDAs, and every other mobile device that now blanket the planet and drain the power grid. Meanwhile, because printing uses — dare I say the word — paper, it’s the bad guy?

Let’s give the printing industry the credit it deserves.

Here is the EPA’s Top 20 printers list by green power volume. The top printer, FedEx, is #1 by volume, but uses only 14% green power. The rest on the EPA’s list either generate or purchase 100% of their power using green sources. Here they are — and kudos to them!

  • EarthColor — 100% wind
  • Sandy Alexander — 100% wind
  • Diversified Global Graphics Group — 100% wind
  • Williamson Printing — 100% wind
  • Pictorial Offset Corporation — 100% wind
  • Diamond Packaging — 100% wind
  • Curtis Packaging — 100% wind
  • Harding Poorman Group — 100% biogas, wind
  • Dynagraf — 100% wind

For the rest of the list, click here.

Like this post? See all my “Greening Print Marketing” posts.

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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