Exploring Gray Areas Within the Green Movement
In contemporary parlance, the three “Rs” connote environmental awareness rather than the fundamentals of education. “Reduce, reuse and recycle” is the rallying cry of a burgeoning green movement which seems poised to sweep in and rescue the printing industry from flat sales and declining markets.
Yes, green is the new gold for manufacturers and distributors, as the focus on sustainability and eco-responsible practices is creating profitable opportunities and driving product development. It’s also generating a fair amount of questions and confusion.
For starters, what do the various certifications mean, and how can copy clutter be avoided when displaying the respective logos on printed pieces? Is soy-based ink the eco-friendly alternative one would think? What are the dos and don’ts of “green” project designing? What basic measures must businesses professing to be environmentally correct assimilate into their daily operations? (Quick Tip: When possible, turn equipment off—even sleep mode uses energy.)
Eventually, the well-intentioned can find themselves slipping from a state of exuberance about adopting planet-saving practices into one of inertia. To prevent readers from getting the blues while going green, Print Professional is launching its new column, GreenPiece. Check here each month for updates on the latest developments, products and services, as well as Web-based reference tools and educational seminars.
Some highlights from the Nov. 15 Green Printing Conference, hosted by the Graphic Arts Association (www.gaa1900.com), Trevose, Pa., at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia, provide a glimpse into the type of coverage readers can expect to find here. Approximately 150 printers, print buyers, designers and suppliers participated in the event, which featured a vendor showcase and a wide variety of topic sessions.
One speaker, Marc Alt, president and creative director of New York City-based Marc Alt + Partners—a design and brand strategy firm specializing in green marketing, sustainability consulting, research, business analysis and environmental strategy—pointed out that FSC chain-of-custody certification is not necessarily a guarantee of “green” manufacturing.
Related story: It’s Easy Being GREEN