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, Fujifilm, HP, Kodak, Miraclon, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

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medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Most people accept that recycling is a good thing. Take paper for instance: in 2011 70% of European waste paper was recycled. Logistics and sorting can be complex, but of equal concern is how waste paper gets prepared for its reincarnation and a new life. The removal of printing ink from substrates, the deinking process, is key to waste paper’s reuse. However there are lots of ways of doing it and limited consensus on how it should be done.

Astonishing Uptake of ISO 16759

medium_laurel3.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

As members of an ISO technical committee we are not allowed to share detailed data on standards uptake. However we can share the fact that response to ISO 16759 for quantifying and calculating the carbon footprint of print media has been astonishing and far beyond our expectations. Strong sales for this standard suggest that printers and print buyers are indeed anxious to understand how to account for carbon footprints. ISO 16759 is the only means of benchmarking carbon calculators and providing some mechanism for their quality control. However it can provide a quality control check for any sort of print media carbon footprint calculator.

Print Saves Trees Campaign

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

We recently came across a US industry association representing 350 printers on the midAtlantic coast, campaigning with much the same goals as the Verdigris project. The Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic (PGAMA) “Print Saves Trees” campaign takes as its starting point the debunking of the idea that people shouldn’t print because printing leads to environmental damage.

About Time

medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

For those of us who find the concept of patience anathema, progress on sustainability is taking too long. However that sustainability takes time is the reality and is probably a reflection of how hard it is for businesses to shift their thinking. Sustainability progress depends on a cultural change and this is a slow process. All industries, business owners and consumers have to move away from treating resources as an endless privilege to which we have absolute rights. Instead organisations operating in the graphic arts sector have to turn around their thinking towards something more holistic.

Environmental PR Fail?

medium_laurel3.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Dear Sir or Madam, or Dear Laurel the emails from PR companies begin. Then follows a boast of one kind or another. It could be an installation story, a case study, some new technology or information, news about presence at a trade show, or a positive environmental achievement. Whatever it is, the story always bigs up the accomplishments of some supplier or other player in the graphic arts, IT and related industries. This is what PR is all about, but sadly the environmental boasts are relatively few and far between. This has to change if the graphic arts industry is to maintain its sustainability messaging and keep encouraging market awareness.