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Despite the Economy, NAPL Finds Printers are Committed to Sustainability

May 2009
PARAMUS, NJ—5/19/2009—Economic conditions may have bumped environmental concerns from the top of the printing industry’s investment objectives, but more than 80% of printers surveyed by NAPL’s Printing Economic Research Center (PERC) are either pursuing or soon intend to pursue environmental sustainability measures, according to a recently published NAPL White Paper, Environmental Sustainability: Structural Change or Just a Fad?
 
“Companies are facing urgent business issues, and for many, environmental concerns aren’t anywhere near the top of the list,” note White Paper authors Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL Vice President and Chief Economist; Joseph Vincenzino, Senior Economist; and Kong Lue Wang, Research Associate. “Nonetheless, the movement toward environmental sustainability continues to permeate societal thinking. All companies, printers very much among them, need to ask: How do we approach the challenges presented by environmental sustainability issues and how do we harness the opportunities?”
 
The White Paper, published by NAPL, the printing and graphic communications industry’s association for business management excellence, and sponsored by Kodak, is based on an NAPL survey of nearly 175 printers from throughout the United States, representing sales from under $3 million to more than $40 million and a variety of printing processes, including lithography, digital, and flexographic. It includes breakdowns of printers’ views on sustainability by company size and location; benefits, challenges, and disappointments of sustainability initiatives; customer demands for ‘green’ printing and its marketability; and top green printing practices.
 
“No doubt, printers have thought about environmental issues for quite some time, and usage of more eco-friendly printing techniques clearly is not new, but the concept of being or going ‘green’ has definitely intensified throughout the economy in recent years,” note the report authors, pointing out that slightly more than half (55%) of survey respondents indicated that their thinking on sustainability has changed over the last two years and that “regardless of current business conditions, sustainability issues have definitely gained some traction.”

More than 80% of participants indicated that they are either currently undertaking sustainability initiatives (71.1%) or plan to do so over the next year (9.8%), although the White Paper notes that survey responses make it clear that the concept of sustainability “encompasses a wide range of definitions and viewpoints—from a full array of extensive measures such as using wind-generated electricity or replacing delivery vehicles with more energy efficient models to basic recycling of paper and materials.”
 

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