Many people include a disclaimer in their email signature like, “Please consider the environment and do not print this email.” It is so prevalently used it usually goes unnoticed. However, recently, we came across a different take the standard “green” disclaimer. It read:
“It is OK TO PRINT this email. Paper is a biodegradable, renewable, sustainable product made from trees. Growing and harvesting trees provides jobs for millions of men and women, and working forests are good for the environment, providing clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat and carbon storage. When you don’t need it anymore, be sure to put it in a bin designated for recycling, and it will come back as new paper or paperboard.“
Of course it is important to note that the email came from a graphics/printing company and that UN Communications Group Inc. is a full-service printer, which is why we really took notice when we saw this disclaimer. And really, the question is being posed both in the context of printing emails as well as to print or not to print newsletters, posters, brochures etc.
Printing companies are often criticized for being tree killers. At UNC Group we understand the importance of making good decisions when it comes to our environment. The commercial printing industry is taking many initiatives to do their part in the environment, including green paper and ink choices and large recycling measures. Last year UNC Group recycled almost 19 tons of paper and 3 tons of metal plates. We partner with paper mills who are committed to “responsible forestry” and are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) — an organization working hard to conserve biological diversity and old growth forests.There is a valid argument, or discussion rather, to consider both that can be simplified down to:
To Print: Digital work requires a lot of energy also. PAPER can be recycled, recovered and reused.
Or Not to Print: Less paper does mean less harvesting of trees, thus improving the environment.
Both are a good answer to this question. A combination of print and electronic media will produce the greatest return on investment, have the greatest reach and will contribute to the sustainability of our environment.