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‘Green’ Printing and What it Means for the Industry

Despite recent trends in clean and renewable energy technologies, many small and mid-sized businesses are more talk than anything else, suggests a recent survey from research firm IDC.

The study specifically addresses employees' sustainable printing efforts, finding 61 percent of respondents claim the environment is an important consideration when deciding whether or not to print various business materials. However, only 16 percent actually act on those concerns and cut back on their printing because of environmental considerations.

Like so many other fields, "green" can be somewhat of a loose term, in this case perhaps referring to more eco-friendly digital printing technologies over traditional devices. But the bottom line is that "green" strategies should be weighed on a case-by-case basis.

"If someone wants a physical copy of something, we clearly should make the printing as low impact as possible," writes Xerox in a recent release. "Paper and printing do have a significant environmental footprint in energy use, water, toxic chemicals and waste. The less paper and ink used, the better for both the environment and the bottom line."

As the economy begins to improve, printing use is expected to grow in response to heightened market competition. Even so, it is always a good idea to consider one's own environmental impact. Not only can it boost savings, but it may also improve PR.

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