Across the country, businesses are placing a higher priority on making environmentally conscious decisions. The world’s largest companies are leading the way with published sustainability reports and commitments to limit carbon emissions, but even small businesses are making their own impact. According to a recent report from Intuit, 65 percent of small business owners are already taking steps to reduce their environmental impact.
One big area of focus for many companies is paper usage. As a commercial printing company, we’re pretty familiar with devising creative ways to minimize print’s environmental impact without reducing its effectiveness. On the contrary, taking time to review your business’ current print habits provides an opportunity to improve both environmental practices and overall strategy.
Add Longevity with Lamination
Nearly every business we work with needs to print evergreen projects from time to time. By evergreen, we mean the company will use the same prints over and over again for an indefinite period of time. These items might include restaurant menus, posters, price lists, or other daily use pieces. Because these prints are used so frequently, if they aren’t protected in some way, they can quickly pick up tears or stains. Adding lamination or an all-over coating can ensure the prints aren’t damaged over time, while also providing a more professional and sleek experience those interacting with the pieces. It may seem simpler at first to save costs and order reprints later if needed – but trust us, you’ll need them. If you plan to use the items for months or even years, you will likely go through multiple reprints and waste a significant amount of paper and ink.
For larger projects or print material overhauls, you may be considering producing multiple prints at once. If you’re considering producing multiple different prints at once, you might explore how you could combine two or more of your ideas into one piece to conserve paper. For example, you may be hoping to print a sales pricing piece as well as a one-pager about product features and benefits. Instead of creating two separate pieces, try to fit both topics into one multi-purpose print. To maximize the space, you can use both sides of the paper or fold the sheet in half to differentiate between subjects. Just be sure to combine pieces that are both relevant to the same audience to avoid confusing your customers.
In addition to professional printing services, most businesses are still heavily reliant on the printers in their office building. In fact, the average worker prints about 34 pages each day in the office. With so many people generating hundreds of prints every week, offices can go through a surprising amount of paper. To lessen your company’s environmental impact, be sure to source recycled paper to use in your building’s printers and provide employees with recycling bins to dispose of used paper. According to Green America, using recycled paper instead of new paper will reduce energy usage by 31 percent and solid waste production by 39 percent.
Find an Eco-Conscious Print Partner
Office printers are handy for everyday documents, but for your larger print projects and campaigns, you’ll need to find a commercial print partner. As you collect quotes and weigh your options, consider vetting each company to ensure they make eco-conscious choices that align with your brand’s environmental goals. Keep in mind that it’s often easier to get your specific questions answered when working with a local printer as opposed to an online print service. Local partners are more likely to speak with you one-on-one, while digital providers may take days or weeks to return your phone call or email. If you’re considering a local printer in the Indianapolis area, feel free to ask us any questions you may have here!