When I was first asked to write for The Inspired Economist on the issue “greening” print marketing, I was excited about the opportunity to talk about something I’m passionate about—the ability to use today’s print technologies to make a practical difference in our stewardship of the environment.
After all, you can’t see the immediate effects of reducing your carbon footprint or reducing your use of virgin paper. When you use the flexibility provided by digital printing technologies to green your print market, you can.
When you move to a full “just in time” inventory management solution, you see empty space in your warehouse instead of stacks of wastestream-clogging paper, books, or leaflets.
Instead of sending 10,000 64-page four-color college coursebooks covering every class known to mankind, you send out 16-page personalized booklets containing only information relevant to each prospective student, you see a tangible reduction in your impact on solid waste—48,000 pages worth.
But do others feel the same way? According to an online “Quick Poll” conducted by Print Buyers Online, a free educational online community, 73% of print buyers do, in fact, feel that sustainability is becoming more important in their companies. This leaves some work yet to be done—26% still say no—but this is an impressive number.
The question is, how is this sustainability being accomplished? Is it “pie in the sky” idealism? Or is it being accomplished through practical, achievable steps?
Greening of print marketing through changing business and marketing models through the use of just in time printing, Web-to-print-driven marketing models, 1:1 (personalized) printing, and others is a practical, achievable step. The question is, if yours is one of the 73% of companies that sees sustainability and environmental issues becoming more important, are you looking at—or overlooking—the real “greening” opportunities print marketing provides?