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Friday, 17 February 2012

Ideas for Environmentally Friendly Design and Print Production


Environmentally friendly printing, eco-friendly printing, green printing…whatever you want to call it, your printers should be committed to doing everything they can to minimise their carbon footprint and, through their advice and expertise, that of their clients.

Printing is estimated to be the UK’s 4th most polluting industry, due to high energy, chemical use and associated waste and every year more than 11m tonnes of paper are consumed in the UK. So as decision makers and influencers in our businesses, we need to start looking at more environmentally friendly printing and its impact on design and production.

Environmentally friendly printing processes should be at the heart of your printers business. With no plates or film to image, digital printing processes do not produce the hazardous wastes associated with traditional offset litho printing processes. In addition, large machines like the digital Xerox iGen3 press not only use eco-friendly inks, but also requires less energy to operate, and uses less waste in make ready.

One of the key challenges in print production is that approximately 30% of all print materials are thrown away due to obsolescence. Digital provides a more environmentally friendly form of printing and addresses this challenge head on; digital printing’s ability to deliver smaller volumes more efficiently (i.e. print only what you need, when you need it) is making a significant impact in reducing wastage.

Printers should do everything they can to advocate the use of more environmentally friendly printing processes, practical steps to make a difference include:

Use Greener Paper
Contribute to more environmentally friendly printing by using paper which is 100%, processed chlorine free (PCF), uncoated and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Also, include verifiable information about the environmentally friendly aspects on the communication piece itself.

Consider Size
More environmentally friendly printing can be achieved by designing smaller pieces to reduce the amount of paper and other materials used overall. Does it really need to be A4? Design without bleeds to reduce trim waste and talk to your printer about maximising the press sheet.

Consider Volumes
Contribute to more environmentally friendly printing by only printing what you need. If you only need 243 copies, don’t order 500. Instead of printing and storing hundreds or thousands of printed items and then wasting them as they’ve gone out of date before they could all be used, just print what you need, when you need it with Print on Demand.

Less White Space
Gone are the days of superfluous white space: design that is beautiful from the inside out means making good use of the space you have.

Target your Marketing
Be smarter with your data, refine your message and target specific prospects or customers. Targeted marketing makes an impact not only in terms of response but also in making a direct contribution to more environmentally friendly printing through reduced print runs, page counts and wastage.

Embrace Digital Print-on-Demand
This means that jobs can be produced as and when required (and in exact run lengths), saving on paper, printing and storage, and greatly reducing waste through unwanted stock. It also eliminates the warehousing of pre-printed materials – saving space and resources, therefore eliminating the obsolescence of printed materials, reducing waste by as much as 30%.

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