Green Printing: Marketing with Environmental Integrity

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"It's not enough to just have a little 'recycled' symbol on your letterhead anymore," says Peck. Some companies are "green washing" according to Peck. "Green Washing" is the term commonly used by those who accuse a company offering lip service to environmental programs but are not employing all the best environmental options. 100% Post Consumer Waste paper with vegetable inks is available now.

A St. Louis, MO, commercial printer, VIP Printing Service, Inc., announced that the company has set up a program to encourage what managing partner David Peck calls "green integrity". The program consists of educational materials and consulting services.

"It's not enough to just have a little 'recycled' symbol on your letterhead anymore," says Peck. Advances in recycling processes, governmental and social pressure have made access to paper that is 100% PCW (post consumer waste) almost universal. Low VOC inks based on vegetable oils instead of petroleum distillates are widely available as well. Some companies are "green washing" according to Peck. "Green Washing" is the term commonly used by those who accuse a company offering lip service to environmental programs but are not employing all the best environmental options. "I've read brochures on 'green' products, attended conferences with literature on 'going green', and sold printing to 'green' companies -- all printed on virgin, bleached paper using petroleum inks." says Peck, who consults print buyers on environmental options in printing. According to the EPA CPG report, working with your printer is their first recommendation concerning buying recycled paper. Even though the EPA recommends only 30% PCW content, when it comes to marketing materials such as business cards and brochures, 100% PCW paper is available. National paper mills are actively managing the forestry and manufacturing practices to minimize environmental impact. One large mill, Mohawk, announced June 1st that all their paper is produced with 100% wind generated electricity.

Bill Waddell, president of Chemtek, a Chicago-based chemical distributor remarked "In the chemical business you look for every opportunity to reduce your 'footprint', we've been able to do that through having 100% 'green' marketing materials." Waddell is not alone; many companies that have made all the obvious changes such as Energy Star equipment, recycling program, efficient HVAC and other environmental efforts now are looking to make sure that they are "walking the talk". "When it comes down to it, if you haven't addressed your marketing materials from an environmental perspective, you could be exposed as a 'green washer'," warns Peck.

Additional information on this topic is available at http://www.epa.gov/cgp.about and VIP Printing Service offers an informational sample of quality green printing at their website, http://www.vipprinting.biz. Founded in 1969, VIP Printing Service ships commercial printing nationwide from St. Louis, MO. VIP has enhanced their green offering as materials and processes become available.

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David Peck
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