Interesting article from Image Reports about whether or not digital media is getting away with too much when it comes to the sustainability argument. While the environmental impact of print has been heavily scrutinized, the information technology industry has been given a much freer ride on this issue.
Print and paper is a highly sustainable form of communication in today’s digital society. Despite this, there are still misconceptions that it is wasteful, detrimental to the environment and responsible for deforestation. More worrying is the misunderstanding that digital communication is more environmentally friendly, which is not always the case.
To address these misconceptions, and to better inform and educate consumers, businesses and the public at large, Two Sides, a global initiative to promote the sustainability and attractiveness of print and paper, has published a series of 11 fact sheets to address a wide array of environmental and social issues. The comprehensive fact sheets cover the most common areas of misunderstanding, ranging from the real environmental impact of electronic communication, to the sustainability of paper-based printed products, as well as tackling the important role that print and paper plays in literacy and learning.
“In recent years the paper and print industries have taken significant steps in managing their environmental impacts”, explains Martyn Eustace, Managing Director of Two Sides. “During the last 20 years forests in Europe have grown by 42 million acres – an area twice the size of Portugal – and the European paper recycling rate is at an all-time-high of 72%. Our role is to educate consumers and businesses that print and paper is a remarkable and sustainable means of communication. It is also important not to forget that alternative digital communications have environmental impacts too.”
A full list of the fact sheets are detailed below;
•“Go Green-Go Paperless” messages are misleading
•Harvesting trees through sustainable forestry
•Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products
•Paper is one of the most recycled products
•Paper production supports sustainable forest management
•Paper’s carbon footprint is not as high as you think
•Print and paper play a key role in learning and literacy
•The paper industry uses a lot of renewable energy
•Why challenge anti-paper environmental marketing claims?
•Wood-based paper and non-wood based paper
Members of Two Sides can also personalise the fact sheets; creating a powerful addition to their own sustainability materials.