Claims of “Greenness”: What Defines a Green Printer?

Green Printing

The online debate has cooled off, and the consensus is… print is NOT dead. Print materials remain important to the success of your brand and should not be left out of your marketing mix.

Though you can’t always go paperless with your marketing efforts, you can make eco-friendly choices when printing. The demand for sustainable printing practices is growing and the print industry is rising to the challenge. Sounds great, but what makes a printer “green”?

Claims of “greenness” are based on a broad scale of definition. Companies can earn certifications from a number of organizations with a variety of guidelines. Regardless of what certifications a printer may or may not have, there are a few clear cut signs to look for in a company that calls itself a green printer. The printer:

  • Uses biodegradable, soy or vegetable inks
  • Uses recycled papers
  • Considers whether the final product is recyclable
  • Reduces energy consumption
  • Reduces waste
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Minimizes chemical usage
  • Optimizes efficiency

Ask your printer how they are going to produce your piece in the most environmentally friendly manner. If they haven’t made steps to improve their processes, and are concerned about the environment, you may want to consider a printer that is more in tune with your ideals. Read an interview with the owners of Green Printer for information on why they choose to use sustainable printing processes. Expect the same commitment from your printer.

A few more of the many green printers:

  • Greenerprinter – Offsets their carbon footprint by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits, offers recycled papers exclusively, and is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.
  • Quad Graphics – Their Environmental Commitment includes working with clients to create responsible design and has certifications from the world’s three leading forest management programs (FSC, SFI, and PEFC).
  • Printing For Less – PFL is 100% wind powered and certified by the FSC, SFI, and PEFC.
  • PS Print – Uses recycled paper printing, soy-based inks and offers economical shipping logistics.

Organizations offering certifications:

Sustainable Green Printing Partnership
Forest Stewardship Council
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

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