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Sustainability in Printing: Aligning Marketing Goals with Environmental Values

By Chelsea Saffran, Senior Creative Copywriter

In today's digital age, where screens dominate our daily lives, well-produced print materials continue to hold a powerful place in the marketing mix. From beautifully printed brochures to impactful postcards and flyers, these tangible pieces have a unique ability to leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Fortunately, advancements in sustainable printing practices allow environmentally conscious brands to achieve their marketing objectives with effective printed materials while demonstrating their commitment to environmental preservation.

Here are a few points to consider when embarking on your brand’s journey to more sustainable printing practices.

Choosing the right partners

For marketing professionals less familiar with printing processes, finding resources for sustainable printing can feel daunting. Partnering with a marketing agency that works with eco-conscious print partners is a great place to start. Agencies like ours are well-versed in sustainable printing practices and can guide clients in making informed decisions that benefit both their brand image and the planet.

If seeking a print partner independently, it's essential to ask the right questions. Inquire about their approach to sustainability, including the types of materials and inks they use, as well as their energy-efficient practices. A reputable print partner should be transparent about their environmental initiatives and certifications, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for paper products.

Consider also whether the print partner offers guidance on sustainable printing options and can tailor solutions to meet your specific needs. Look for a partner who is willing to collaborate on finding the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective solutions for your printing projects.

Specific considerations for sustainability

Sustainable printing practices encompass a variety of techniques aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the printing process. By familiarizing yourself with a few of the most prevalent ones, you can help ensure that your marketing materials align with your company's sustainability goals.

1. Eco-Friendly Materials

  • Opt for paper made from post-consumer waste or sustainably sourced wood fibers to decrease the reliance on virgin materials and alleviate pressure on forests.
  • The use of vegetable-based inks derived from renewable resources can reduce emissions and reliance on petroleum-based alternatives.

2. Energy Efficiency

  • Seek out printing presses equipped with energy-saving features and utilization of renewable energy sources.
  • Prioritize a highly targeted approach to customer communications. Tailoring the content and distribution of printed materials to segmented audiences can minimize energy consumption through more precise print production.

3. Waste Reduction

  • Choose a print vendor that employs efficient practices like printing plate recycling to minimize paper waste and chemical usage.
  • Ensure there are practices in place for responsible disposal and recycling of printing materials to align with environmentally friendly waste management practices.

Enhancing brand impact, responsibly

Sustainable printing practices offer businesses an effective way to enhance their brand impact while acting as responsible stewards of the planet. By prioritizing sustainability in print, companies can effectively communicate their environmental values to customers and stakeholders. Sustainable printing not only benefits the planet but also aligns marketing goals with ethical business practices, fostering trust and loyalty among environmentally conscious consumers. As we navigate the future of marketing, integrating sustainability into print strategies will continue to be a vital component in shaping a brighter, more eco-friendly future for all.

MKP communications inc. is a New-York based marketing communications agency specializing in merger/change communications for the financial services industry.