Consumers and businesses are getting increasingly conscious of how their daily lives and shopping habits impact the planet. Companies are getting scrutinized for how their footprint is impacting the world. Companies are realizing they need to become more eco-friendly. This means reusing and recycling materials to offer products made humanely and with little waste. For the last few years, organizations have built out their own sustainability plans. The microscope is now on even more corporations as the world sees the continued impact of climate change on business.

Consumer Trends

The consumer of today is a consumer who is mindful of their impact on the world. People all over the world are trying to do their part to reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint. In fact, 78 percent of people are more likely to purchase a product that is clearly labeled as eco-friendly. More than 80% of participants in an Accenture survey felt it was "important or extremely important" for companies to design environmentally conscious products. Instead of doing away with print products and promotional materials, offering eco-friendly alternatives can help boost sales and create a positive brand image.

Related: Eco-Friendly Office Practices

Ways to Make Print Marketing More Sustainable

Print has so many applications, and in many situations, you can’t go without it. As companies aim to be more eco-friendly, alternatives to traditional printing need to be more accessible. What does this mean for today? Here are a few ways you can make your print marketing more sustainable:

  • Switch to environmentally conscious printers
  • Soy and vegetable inks do not contain petroleum, which makes them easier to recycle
  • Learn more about your printer’s focus on sustainability and how they will be taking on your print job
  • Invest in more reusable products, such as eco-friendly paper. It was found that consumers are willing to pay a premium for products from a sustainable brand over a non-sustainable competitor, according to Business Insider.

Print Can Be the Better Option

When looking to be more environmentally friendly, there's a common misconception that paper is immediately the less sustainable option. Is it more eco-friendly to read the newspaper online or get a paper copy? The results may surprise you. Just think about the energy it takes to power the site that makes the digital newspaper available. Data centers have the same carbon footprint as the aviation industry, using three percent of the world's electricity supply and producing two percent of all greenhouse emissions. If the internet were a country, it would rank 5th for the amount of energy it uses, sitting just below Japan. What about the electricity needed to power the tablet or laptop? Paper is a renewable resource, and with recycled paper and environmentally-conscious inks, responsible printing can be very sustainable and may even be better for the environment than the digital alternative. Actively choosing to use sustainable resources in a print marketing campaign can help you ensure that you are reducing your impact on the planet.

Eco-Friendly Paper

Paper may come from trees, but that doesn't mean that trees always have to be cut down in order to make it. In 2018, paper had a recycling rate of 68.2 percent, which was higher than other materials in municipal solid waste, according to the EPA. Some paper companies require fewer resources to produce their paper, and U.S. pulp and paper mills report generating two-thirds of their own energy using biomass and renewable fuel sources like Biofuel from waste generated during the paper-making process.

Sustainable printing makes print marketing an eco-friendly part of your marketing strategy. As we speak, printing companies are starting to become more sustainable as the demand for sustainable printing grows. Forward-thinking print companies are constantly coming up with new, innovative technologies to lessen their carbon footprint and do their part. Before your next print project, ask about the vendor's eco-friendly print efforts, the different ways your print vendor can help you reduce waste with your print orders, and what the vendor is doing to lessen their footprint.

As an industry leader, Ironmark is here to help you with both your print and digital marketing. Talk to us today about how we can take on your next print project. We’ll come up with a plan that can help your business make an impact without a major carbon footprint.

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Written by Heather Pruitt

Heather Pruitt supports the digital marketing client services team as a digital marketing specialist. She helps clients exceed their business goals and grow brand awareness by implementing comprehensive strategies and brainstorming new ideas. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University in 2015 with a Bachelors in Public Relations, Heather honed her marketing skills by working with major technology companies and state-level government organizations at a Detroit-based agency. At Ironmark, she applies her knowledge of social media, influencer marketing, content creation, graphic design, and podcasting for a variety of clients. Heather takes pride in her creative mind and problem solving skills.

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