The Customer Is Always Right
When Printing Impressions published the top 50 print customers in North America Canopy recognized some familiar brands, including many of the 800 companies who have developed paper procurement policies with our team.
In fact, 96% of these top 50 print customers in North America have language or purchasing policies on their websites that support sustainable paper use. In almost every case, this language goes far beyond simply using paper from certified sources.
Out of the 50 largest print buyers in North America, 48 have set goals or commitments around combinations of the following: reducing and recycling packaging and/or paper, using recycled paper, protecting high conservation value (HCV) forests, protecting high carbon stock (HCS) forests or peat lands, protecting biodiversity and avoiding habitat destruction, reducing their green house gas emissions and zero deforestation.
This means that companies representing more than $3 trillion in forecasted revenues and $34 billion in printing contracts each year all support sustainability, forest conservation and paper recycling.
It begs the question: are printers and their suppliers strongly positioned to support these major print buyers in achieving the most responsible paper use?
It is clear when analyzing and compiling these print customers’ growing commitments to sustainable procurement, that a printer simply saying they use certified and legal sources is no longer enough. Customers are increasingly aware and concerned that:
- Legal logging is taking place in certified forests that are by definition ancient and endangered. Many of these same endangered forests do not yet have scientifically driven conservation plans in place;
- Legal and certified logging is taking place in endangered species habitat and high conservation value forests that also have high carbon values;
- Only some of the forest certification systems address high conservation values;
- Certified or legally sourced paper does not mean it is recycled, which is the most beneficial option for those looking to meet climate Key Performance Indicators.
As North America’s largest print customers get more serious about sustainability implementation and transparent reporting — 80% have published sustainability reports on their websites — it is essential for printers to able to address in detail how they can support these customers in meeting their CSR goals.
Canopy’s Blueline ranking is the tool that brands are now using to know which printers support their sustainability objectives and we look forward to offering you tailored support to position well within this tool.
Businesses who are making the link between sales and sustainability practice are leaping forward. In February 2016, a 2015 report by consultant firm Pure Strategies, which surveyed sustainability officers at 152 large companies, found that “of companies that had already implemented projects to create more sustainable products, such as by using recycled or non-toxic materials, 27% saw $5 million or more in increased sales….”
Your customers — North America’s largest print buyers — have publicly posted their commitments to operational sustainability and are raising the bar on these efforts.
Are you and your paper suppliers ready and able to meet their needs?
Catherine Stewart, a corporate campaigner with Canopy, an independent not-for-profit organization, has over 25 years of experience in the environmental movement on issues ranging from fisheries and forests conservation to water pollution and climate change. She was a lead negotiator on the Great Bear Rainforest campaign, brokering the moratorium in over 100 intact valleys and playing a pivotal role in crafting the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements in British Columbia.
Working with Canopy, an independent not-for-profit environmental organization, Stewart is continuing her efforts to increase conservation of the world’s threatened forests by assisting forest product customers in the development of sustainable purchasing policies.
Formerly a small business owner in a resource-based community, Stewart understands the importance of both jobs and a healthy environment to the viability and long-term future of rural communities.