|‘Industry must educate customers that not all is as green as it seems’, states Antalis
As businesses come under increased pressure to optimise their green credentials, Antalis has stated that the industry has an important role to play in educating consumers about sustainable options and dispelling the long-held myth that ‘digital is always the greenest choice.’
In order to succeed, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to act quickly to prove their commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR), with a third (33%) of consumers now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good.
This, in turn, is putting pressure on businesses to invest in developing their sustainability strategy, and reducing paper count in favour of e-communications - being often perceived as the more environmentally friendly of the two. However, the reality is that this isn’t necessarily the case – and the industry has a job to do in educating customers on the bigger picture.
James Jarvis, Antalis' Channel Director for Print, comments: “It is easy to see why people may assume that sending a quick email rather than, say, a letter in the post, may be more environmentally friendly because there is no material requirement. However, the reality is that this is an incredibly complex topic area, and the case for digital and paper mediums cannot be rationalised without looking at the full lifetime costs.
“Many customers may be shocked to know, for example, that displaying a page for three minutes on a screen consumes more energy than producing a printed version of that page – or that sending 20 emails a day over one year emits as much CO2 as driving 1,000km by car.
“Also, it’s important to point out that paper is one of the few products which is completely sustainable and that the paper industry is actually one of the biggest users of renewable energy.”
According to a report from Two Sides, the main ingredient of paper – wood – is grown in such a carefully controlled and sustainable way that European forests, where most of it comes from, have grown by an area the size of Switzerland in just 10 years.
At the same time, the report flags a prior study by Green Peace which showed that, if compared with the electricity demand of countries in the same years, ‘cloud services’ would rank 6th in the world, with demand expected to increase a staggering 63% by 2020.
James adds: “As the sustainability issue continues to gain pace, the recommendation is for printers to take the time to provide customers with a clear overview of the business case for paper and digital options so that they can make a clear, informed decision.
“It is also important that they have environmentally friendly options readily available within their paper stock. Here, the good news is that today’s greener paper options have improved tremendously, meaning customers won’t have to compromise on quality, performance, appearance or whiteness – offering the perfect solution for those seeking to stay one step ahead of the green curve.”
Antalis has developed its own Green Star System which rates each paper with a star according to its environmental performance.
For further information please visit: www.antalis.co.uk