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Greene on Green Printing

(July 2007) posted on Fri Jul 06, 2007

Advances in environmentally friendly imaging technologies are making green printing more accessible. Find out why you should invest sooner than later.

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By Tim Greene

“The biggest issue is that currently available green inks and media are typically more expensive, so we have to be able to charge more for those prints. This means having to explain to customers that green printing can be more expensive and selling them on the idea that there are costs involved when they say they want to go green,” he says. Beard also indicates that there are obstacles to selling when print buyers are unaware that their own company or organization has announced intentions to give preference to the purchase of environmentally safer products.

So why the Yield to Green effort? “We also have business reasons for doing this,” Beard explains. “We want to grow and be more profitable, like everybody else. This is not sheer altruism, but we hope that doing the next right thing can be a winwin- win; for us, our clients, and the environment. The idea of green printing is not just for so-called tree huggers any more. As environmental realists, we’re seeking progress not perfection. Today, eco-awareness has found its way into the corporate and municipal consciousness. The real benefits will come when all of this becomes part of the mainstream process.”

Jane Cedrone, marketing communications manager at EFI-VUTEk, says, “Certain print-buying customers are pulling for green printing through their own green initiatives, so some printers really have to have green printing capabilities in order to even bid on these jobs.” The list of companies that are creating this pull includes major branded-goods manufacturers and major retailers.

Environmental issues have been at the forefront of several recent, more prominent wide-format-industry events. The environment was one of the hottest topics at the FESPA Directors Summit, where approximately 100 of the leading screen- and digital-printing companies in Europe convened in Geneva, Switzerland this Spring. Many of the print-service providers at that event indicated that their customers were asking for greener printed materials but that there was still a lot of price sensitivity and few options for green printing supplies in the European market. One of the screen- and digital-printing companies I talked to acknowledged the purchase of several new wide-format water-based printers to add to the shop’s printing capacity to keep up with demand from one of its biggest customers, a retailer based in the UK.


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