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Sustainable Printers Make a Choice

(October 2015) posted on Wed Dec 09, 2015

Do you go by the (rather expensive) book, or take responsibility into your own hands?

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By Adrienne Palmer

This is part one of a two-part series on sustainable digital printing. To read part two, click here, or visit our digital edition to read the piece in its entirety.

Take a walk through your local grocery store’s produce section. Notice anything different? Five to 10 years ago, organic produce prices were significantly higher than traditional fruits and veggies, and, on average, only the extremely health-conscious or those with a little more money in their pockets cared to buy. But today, more and more buyers – even those with lower cash flow – are thinking about the health aspects of “going green.” Prices are comparable to regular options with some organics even placed right next to conventional varieties.

“On the demand side, customers are buying more organics, opening up some new mass retail channels – Walmart actually sells more organics than Whole Foods – enabling some suppliers to produce/distribute enough that they start seeing economies of scale. Thus, costs go down and prices follow,” says Shel Horowitz, green business profitability expert and co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green.” “Also, as direct-to-consumer marketing has proliferated – just compare the number of farmers markets today to 15 years ago – sellers and buyers can find a happy medium that pays the grower more while costing the consumer less than going through five layers of intermediaries.”

Sustainability within the wide-format print industry compares, as shops large and small seek sustainable alternatives for their clients, thereby driving lower prices through supply and demand.

Being a sustainable print shop in today’s industry is more than just offering environmentally friendly products, however. PSPs are becoming certified, learning to have educational conversations with their clients, thinking of unconventional ways to be sustainable, and seeking third-party verifications, all while saving money and increasing their return on investment. It’s become less of a PR move and more of a choice to do the right thing. And there are multiple routes to becoming a sustainable shop. It just depends on how much time and money you’re willing to spend.