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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Drupa 2020 environmental expectations

medium_laurel2015.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

It’s the graphics industry’s most anticipated show. It’s the lynchpin show that has for years dictated research and development schedules, marketing budgets and contract signings. Attendance has been in slow but relentless decline since Drupa’s 1980s heyday, but this does little to diminish the show’s power to focus minds. Drupa 2020 takes place this June and hopes are high that there will be some loud shouting about the sustainability of the printing industry, along with some sort of leadership.

Environmental news for drupa

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Important as they might be to us as individuals, environmental impact mitigation and sustainability concerns have much lower priority when it comes to most businesses. Say what they like, but if supporting environmental initiatives means adding cost or inconvenience, most firms are unlikely to take them up. It’s a terrible thing to admit, but sadly that reality is the case in the graphics industry. And yet supporting sustainability and environmental impact mitigation in graphics production can save money and help process automation. This should help overcome perceptions of inconvenience too and yet it doesn’t.

National Development and Reform Commission

Laurel-2018.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is following the European Union (EU) in committing to phase out single use plastics. The NDRC has announced a number of bans including of plastic bags and a cut of 30% in single use plastics in restaurants by 2025. Hotels must have stopped offering single use plastics by 2025 too, by when it will also be illegal to make and sell plastic bags that are less than 0.025mm thick.

Microsoft’s bold move

medium_laurel2015.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Everyone in the graphics industry depends on Microsoft and Apple to provide the software infrastructure so vital to prepress and workflows. Apple’s commitment to environmental impact mitigation is extensively publicised but we hear relatively little from Microsoft on the matter. That changed with Microsoft’s recent announcement that it aims to be carbon negative by 2030. Even bolder, by 2050 Microsoft will “remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975”. This is quite extraordinary, not least because calculating “all the carbon” is a Herculean task on its own.

Reasons to be cheerful

medium_2015_Laurel B.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Consolidation in the graphics industry has been a fact of life for many years now. It’s tempting to blame the losses on the onslaught of digital media and delivery, despite it’s heavy carbon footprint compared to print. Consolidation is tragic for its many victims and their families, but consolidation is not all bad for the industry. There are a couple of reasons for this. Most importantly, if brutally, consolidation takes inefficiency out of the market. And in times when cutting environmental impact is so important, efficiency enhances the survival chances of those printing and publishing companies who understand how to exploit technology and are in tune with the zeitgeist.

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