The Weekly 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, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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Asian Pulp & Paper versus the World Wildlife Fund

medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

There is an terrible war or words going on between APP and the WWF. The fight is about APP’s destruction of Indonesian rain forests to feed their new paper mills in China. The group is a division of Sina Mas a large conglomerate based in Shanghai and which is also one of the world’s big palm oil producers. Several major brands, including Burger King, Carrefour and Nestlé have boycotted the company because of its environmental abuses. Ricoh is one of several graphic arts industry players that does not do business with APP.

Inspiring Print is Everywhere

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Well yes of course it is, but it isn’t often enough that the printing industry itself reminds the world of just how gorgeous print is, as well as its sustainability. At drupa there were many examples of our industry’s environmental friendliness but one of the best was Agfa’s Print Inspires Print project. This beautiful little book isn’t a shout for how wonderfully green print media is compared to electronic media, a mantra that’s getting pretty tired these days. Although we need to keep repeating it more imagination is required, and that is what Agfa’s Print Inspires Print delivers.

Eco Labels Not the Point

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Ecolabels are a pain. They are generally well-intended, aiming to make life simpler for consumers and provide assurance that a product is environmentally friendly. But really eco labels alone don’t help industry sectors to improve their carbon footprints or environmental impacts. For instance in the US eco labels are required for cars and tumble dryers. They are a pain because they give a false and misleading impression that the impact problem is solved, which of course it isn’t and cannot be just because of a quantification and validation proceedure. The printing industry needs not labels but education and awareness that environmental performance improvement is more important than hollow claims.

Hold Your Head Up Mr Printer!

medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

The Toshiba fiasco is behind us but that doesn’t mean we can breathe even a little sigh of relief. The graphic arts industry has an uphill road to climb, if it is going to really be able to change its image. Actually that road isn’t particularly hard or steep because the industry has impressive achievements and unbeatable credentials when it comes to environmental impact. No other media can do what print can do: you can smell it, touch it, caress it and even lick it if you want. As yummy as all that iStuff is, it just doesn’t have the same sensory clout. And when it comes to media’s end of life, only print has a future.

National No Print Day a No Go

medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

How could any company, large or small, possibly be so stupid as to come up with a National No Print Day? And yet that is what Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc., recently planned to do. Their idea drew such opprobrium from the printing industry that they wisely withdrew it.

But this idiotic idea has actually done the printing industry a favour. It has demonstrated just how little people really think about print, and how easily it is taken for granted. People don’t at all appreciate that print is print, whether it comes out of a desktop printer or a high speed digital press. They don’t recognise or understand the technology continuum. They are mistakenly clutching electronic media in a loving embrace because they believe it produces no waste. This is also idiotic.

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