Eco-Friendly Printing: What does it mean in 2017?

Posted by in Green Printing

If you’re looking for eco-friendly printing for your business or organization, it may take some investigation to figure out what that really means. Some companies claim to be environmentally friendly in their printing practices, but does that mean from start to finish everything they do is sustainable and eco-friendly? Or just that they use 10% recycled paper?

Green Printing & Eco-Friendly Printing

Wikipedia definesĀ green printing as this:

Green printing is described as the movement in the printing industry wherein recycling, reusing, and reducing are done to lower the number of resources used for printing and advertising.[1]

This method involves the use of low-VCO (Volatile Organic Chemical) inks, recycled paper, energy-efficient computers and equipment, remanufactured laser tonercartridges and ink cartridges for printers, paperless information dissemination, attempts to educate the public on green printing.[2]

It’s a movement! We love movements!

I definitely applaud the approach taken above, and the fact that there is a foothold in the industry to do better.

The question is, how large is this movement? Is it working?

It’s hard to quantify, and we need to be wary of companies that “green-washing” or just trying to seem more environmentally-friendly than they already are:

Greenwashing (a compound word modelled on “whitewash“), or “green sheen“,[1][2] is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.[3] Evidence that an organization is greenwashing often comes from pointing out the spending differences: when significantly more money or time has been spent advertising being “green” (that is, operating with consideration for the environment), than is actually spent on environmentally sound practices.[4]

Large commercial printers that also have a page on their site offering green printing come to mind. Conversely, we should be able to trust smaller printers that have built their brand around green printing.

What factors do you look for?