The Verdigris Project - Giving Print a Sustainable Voice
Verdigris is the industry research initiative working to dispel misunderstandings about the environmental impact of print media. We do this by investigating and reporting the sustainability of print and other media and sharing our findings with the international printing and publishing communities. Our ultimate goal is to help mobilise manufacturers, printers, print buyers and publishers to raise awareness of print’s sustainability. Establishing the facts about print and the environment is vital to achieving this.
Founded in 2008 by Laurel Brunner of graphic arts research group Digital Dots, Verdigris exists to counter the myths and misconceptions that have proliferated about the printing industry’s negative impact on the environment. To the uninformed, print is about shrinking forests, greasy ink and stinking landfills. “Think before printing” has become a convenient, if misguided, badge for any organisation seeking to demonstrate its environmental credentials. While some of this may once have been true, the printing has made huge improvements in its environmental impact. Today print is an industry firmly committed to sustainability and with a positive story to tell. Verdigris exists to help the industry tell that story.
What we do
Verdigris is about sharing information and opinion to help those involved in communications understand and evaluate the respective carbon footprints of different media, particularly print. We place the emphasis on gathering empirical data which we then distribute free of charge to trade publishers, print service providers and end users around the globe. Verdigris content development is independently managed by people who know and understand print technology. In this way we aim to create a dialogue with different markets worldwide, raising and discussing environmental issues at a local level, providing market research and articles, and promoting print businesses that are following best practice.
At the same time we are building a reputation as a reliable source for authoritative information and comment on the environmental aspects of print production. This gives us access to a growing number of international platforms from which we can make the case for print as a sustainable medium. At drupa 2012, for example, our association with drupa (a founder member of Verdigris) helped place sustainability high on the show agenda, and with EcoPrint Europe recently joining as a associate supporter a similar emphasis can be expected in Berlin in September.
We are also a major contributor to the development of ISO 16759, the emerging standard for calculating the carbon footprint of print media products. Verdigris founder Laurel Brunner is the convenor of ISO Working Group 11, which is responsible for standards related to the environmental impact of print including ISO 16759.
How we do it
Verdigris helps combine the resources of manufacturers, industry associations, commentators and media to create a source of authoritative information and about the sustainability of print. We work closely with the printing industry’s key players to provide free research and content to the print community via the Verdigris Publishing Network of 39 influential publications in 30 countries. If you would like to join the VPN, please get in touch.
To date articles—all of which are available online—have covered topics such as: how to assess your environmental impact; waterless printing; carbon calculators; deciding between print and electronic media; deinking; and waste management.
Supporting companies and events are Agfa, Canon, EcoPrint Europe, drupa, EFI, HP, Pragati Offset, Ricoh, Xeikon and Xerox. VPN magazines publish a full list of all supporters every time they use Verdigris content.
Add your voice to Verdigris
Anyone can get involved in Verdigris and contribute content and ideas to the editorial process. In addition there are other ways to amplify the Verdigris message, grow the Verdigris community and boost your own environmental initiatives. Linking Verdigris to your website, and incorporating our RSS news feed, provides customers, partners and employees with authoritative data and views on environmental issues and impact of print. Adding the Verdigris logo to your communications will raise awareness of the project and promote your involvement. The Verdigris Directory of ISO 14001-certified print companies is free, unique and generates business.
About Digital Dots
Digital Dots is is an independent graphic arts research group established in 1999. The company is a collection of like-minded graphic arts consultants, digital pixies and professional journalists specialising in digital prepress, printing and publishing technologies. The company provides exclusive market research, testing and evaluation services for digital production technologies relating to these industries.
Digital Dots publishes a monthly newsletter known for its objectivity, independence and occasional irreverence. Spindrift has an international readership and is wholly supported by Digital Dots and its subscribers. It carries no advertising and provides independent, knowledgeable commentary and analysis for people working in the graphic arts and associated industries. Spindrift’s editorial goal is to provide accessible and comprehensible analysis that readers can use to assist investment and business development, within the publishing and related sectors.
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