Knowing the Facts
When it comes to green printing jobs, printers and customers really need to be on the same page, so to speak.
Not knowing what a client means in terms of "green" can be a real nightmare for printers, Scot Case, vice president of the Canadian research firm TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, said. Furthermore, suggesting a product is green because it is being printed on recycled paper may not be enough for some customers.
"Some people consider printing to be green if it's done on recycled paper, but others wouldn't think that's the case unless the facility is independently-certified by SGPP (Sustainable Green Printing Partnership), meaning that not just the paper but the ink and equipment are certified."
Case warned printers who don't understand where their customers are coming from could end up facing "big financial risks."
"Customers find out later that the 'green' wasn't what they expected and then they are very disappointed," he stated. "That can give a company a bad reputation."
To avoid confusion and financial loss, Case suggested printers get to know the various certifications available and their limits.
He mentioned the one provided by Terrachoice. The firm operates the Canadian government's EcoLogo program; Case is the executive director of this program. The EcoLogo, which was started by the Canadian government in 1988, rewards products and services for their environmental leadership, according to its website: www.ecologo.org. More than 3,000 products and services have attained certification with the program. The site further states those products and services marked with the program's symbol means they have met stringent environmental criteria, and have been audited by a credible third party.
"Many customers mistakenly think being certified by the Forest Stewardship Council means it was printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink on energy-efficient equipment," Case remarked. "It's not."
Paying attention to these things are important because studies have shown that six percent of customers are actively looking for printers who print "green," Case commented. And government printers are very interested in green practices, he added.