The Verdigris Blog by Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Miraclon, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Laurel-2018.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

It is hard to believe that we have only started hearing more from GRI in the last year or so. This organisation was established over twenty years ago to help organisations and businesses manage reporting of their environmental impacts. Over the years GRI has gained considerable momentum in developing its communications framework. The model allows over 10,000 companies across the globe to report their sustainability status using a common language.

Changing bad habits

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If we wanted to point a finger at the worst offenders when it comes to environmental inefficiency, which print sector would we choose? Labels and packaging produce phenomenal quantities of waste. Commercial print is also responsible for sending tonnes of paper for landfill or incineration. The signage business also produces a lot of material that once it is used, is mostly not reused so it turns into trash. But in all of these cases there are mechanisms for recycling or reuse and support for the circular economy, at least in principle. Users of the prints including consumers have options for sending material for recycling

Asking the right questions

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As we move more and more towards a Do-It-Yourself model, the printing industry is gaining all sorts of new customers. From labels on demand for bespoke honey through to ambitious party signage and sportswear, print volumes are rising. Perhaps one of the biggest categories is book printing, as the world of self-publishing explodes. But rarely is the environmental dimension considered in any these categories of print.

Carbon calculators are like buses

Laurel-2018.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Buses. You wait for ages for one to come along and then a slew of them show up all at once. That’s a very 1970s perspective I know, but it’s apt for implementations of ISO 16759. This document outlines requirements for calculating the carbon footprint of a print run and ISO published it in 2013. Since then it has done well with printers bold enough to take the plunge. And now, when it comes to services that implement the standard, ISO 16759 is becoming flavour of the month.

ISO project for assessing your organisation’s sustainability

medium_laurel2015.jpgThe Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

ISO’s technical committee working on standards for the printing and publishing industries is considering a new project. The project is intended to help organisations to assess their progress towards greater environmental sustainability. The new project is tentatively called Guidance for Sustainabililty Assessments.