No One Cares How Green You Are

They show up in my inbox with tenacious frequency. Hardly a week goes by when I don’t get word of a paper mill having released their latest sustainability report.

No one cares.

From the response—or should I say lack of response—we get when posting this news to our paper-loving peers, you cannot help but wonder: Are all the efforts we all make to be “sustainable” in vain?

It might be a stretch, but remember about 15 years ago? The Internet was still in its infancy (yep, not that long ago). More people than not used dial-up to connect. DSL was considered super fast. Not everyone and their cat had a Website yet; it was a big deal and big news if you did. Now people expect you to have a Website. How could you not?

It’s the same with sustainability. Five or six years ago, being green was a great way to differentiate yourself from the competition; now it’s expected.

Designers and marketers expect you to do the right thing, and the same goes for the printers they partner with. They expect a paper mill to offer recycled and FSC/SFI-certified paper options. They expect mills to be environmentally conscious, to reduce their water waste, and to create as small a carbon footprint as possible.

So keep publishing those sustainability reports, paper mills, and more importantly, keep pushing that green envelope. You might not get clapped on the back for it quite as much as once you did, but that’s a good sign.

It means that thanks to your efforts—and to those of everyone in the print community who paid that bit extra to go green with you—sustainable has become the new normal, and that is an achievement to be proud of.

P.S. I know you care about sustainability, but do you feel your clients do? Do they ask for your green credentials?

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  • lithoman457

    Funny how everyone wants to be "green" , but with only 11 % or so of the wood being made into paper, they could stop making wood furniture and building houses with the other 75% or so, if "they" were serious about saving trees. The paper mills have always been sustainable, otherwise they would run out of trees for paper. I will continue to print out my emails, print as much junk mail as I possibly can to continue to hold as many jobs and possibly create a few more, if everyone else would join me and keep printing out those emails, invoices, brochures.etc. and dont forget to read the magazines and the newspapers. Remember, the CD you throw away will be there for 1000 years, but the files of papers will be gone in a few years, unless of course it is recycled paper, it takes longer after going through the de-inking process…..