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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Investing for 2013 and Beyond

medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

It has been a trying year for most of us. This is mainly because of the difficulties of keeping up with everything, from Fespa, drupa and EcoPrint, through to the daily tsunami of news and information hitting us from every direction. It has also been tough because of the slowing worldwide economy. For all of us who care about the environmental impact of print, it has been particularly hard to keep print’s sustainability at the top of companies’ agendas.

Green is the New Black

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Colour aficionados, Pantone, have announced its colour of the year for 2013, described as “a lively, lush, radiant green … sophisticated and luxurious”. You can check it out here:

Pantone also describe it as “the colour of beauty and new life” and for the graphic arts industry green is an especially poignant choice, because green is the new black. The printing and publishing industries have been wrestling with reinvention for the last few years with heavy losses on both sides of the supplier/customer equation. Many survivors are hanging on because they have invested in a sustainable future, with demonstrable environmental awareness and appreciation of the need for sustainability in media. In a future where media choices are seemingly endless and where digital media and print sit alongside one another, print is the environmentally friendly preference so green is definitely the new black.

What Happened in Doha?

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

With Kyoto about to expire and the main outcomes of Copenhagen withering, hopes were high for the recently-concluded Doha round of climate change talks. And there were some exciting outcomes. The big news is the “loss and damage” agreement for countries suffering as a result of climate change. They will be able to claim compensation from major polluters including Europe, the US and China. The objective is “to address loss and damage associated with climate change impacts in developing countries, that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to enhance adaptive capacity”. Needless to say, this went down like a tonne of carbon bricks with big polluting nations, including China which classes itself as a developing nation even though it is the world’s biggest polluter and its economy is set to overtake that of the US within the next few years.

The IT Game & Counting its Cost

medium_Laurel_2012.jpegThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Thanks to Agfa for pointing us at a recent article in the New York Times looking at the amount of energy the Internet consumes. Facebook, the main subject of the article, has to support over one billion users so the energy required for its servers is stupendous. So how can the emissions on that energy be quantified? Not a simple question, but one that has to start somewhere. For instance, how much data processing power is required to support a single FaceBook user sitting on the site for say one hour per day?

The EU Wading into Footprinting

medium_Laurel.jpgThe weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

At the recent Carbon Challenge Event sponsored by BSI in London, Dr. Michele Galatola, Product Team Leader, DG Environment, of the European Commission presented plans to “establish a common methodological approach to enable Member States and the private sector to assess, display and benchmark the environmental performance of products, services and companies”. This tool sounds a lot like a repeat of what already exists in the form of PAS2050 and ISO 14067. It also sounds like it will be expensive for taxpayers and unwieldy for users. Despite all the research and effort put into deciding to do this, it can hardly be a good idea in a market where there is so much activity and where large organisations such as Boots and Coca Cola are already implementing PAS2050.