Sustainability is a buzzword that’s been penetrating people’s consciousness for the past few decades. But do you really know what it means?
Sustainability concerns our ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the capability of future generations to meet theirs. It came about as part of a corporate ethical response to public clamour and rising discontent over future liabilities incurred by businesses’ emphasis on sales and low-cost production, above free trade, and eco-friendly alternatives.
In business, sustainability means conducting commerce while considering its impact on the planet, profits, and people. Many have started to include sustainability in their marketing strategy, knowing that the short-term sacrifice will result in long -term good will and sales.
Making A Difference: Sustainability in Print and Media
Contrary to the initial high investment, sustainability earns more in the long run. Consumers’ consciousness of what exactly is at stake is on the rise, and they “invest” in businesses who share the same causes they believe in.
By choosing companies who have an environmental and social sustainability strategy in place, they can make a significant impact on your bottom line.
When you’re in the print and media industry, it can be hard to fathom how to be green. It’s easy to forget that the materials you’re using can have a huge environmental impact.
But you can make a difference.
It’s one reason why we at SOS Print and Media decided to adopt FSC, PEFC and ISO 14001 accreditations to help minimise our environmental footprint, and hopefully do our part in creating a more sustainable world.
Walking the Talk One Carbon Footprint at a Time
Because paper is made from a renewable resource, print has become one of the leading proponents in the world’s sustainability efforts.
Although the recyclability of paper has been hot topic for a long time, the sustainability of other elements in the printing industry have become part of the conversation. Technological advancements have focused on more streamlined processes, printer automation, and cutting down on waste and negative emissions. Part of the reason for this is the concern over the accumulation of e-waste, the result of an increased dependence and consumption of digital devices.
As a country which has always prided itself in the preservation of its ecosystems and conscious of the part it plays in the conservation of natural resources, Australia is doing an amazing job in recycling, leading with an 87% paper and cardboard recycling rate!
As a preferred partner for print and print services, SOS Print and Media is fully committed to ecological sustainability. We do our best to minimise our carbon footprint through company-wide environmental policies and initiatives, which enforces responsible use of paper and other consumables.
Environmental Seals of Approval
SOS Print and Media is a pioneer in adopting FSC, PEFC and ISO 14001 accreditations, all of which are environment certifications, setting standards in the forestry industry.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was created to promote responsible forest management and to protect the world’s forests, e.g., only allowing the harvesting of trees that are more than 30 years old.
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is the biggest forest certification scheme in the world, covering everything from paper to livestock. The PEFC system ensures that businesses stick to set standards when it comes to their environmental impact.
The ISO 14001 is an internationally accepted set of benchmarks and best practices that outline effective environmental management systems organisations can utilise for their workplace. It results not only in legislative and environmental regulations’ compliance but also a reduced negative environmental impact, and even improved performance.
As a paper and print company, we use a lot of paper products, and it’s our duty – no, our responsibility — to our environment, our customers and ourselves to source them ethically.
By having these accreditations on our business, our customers are assured that the timber we use come from trees specifically grown for paper production, additional materials are from legal and sustainable sources, and our operating systems are efficient yet environmentally compliant.
Green Printing: In It for the Long Haul
Green printing refers to printing that uses renewable resources, and is a growing trend in the media industry, which traditionally utilises vast amounts of energy to produce paper and ink, in addition to releasing harmful chemicals when manufactured and thrown away.
Many companies have turned their backs on conventional printing methods in favour of environmentally friendly printing processes, which results in a lower ecological impact for the whole industry.
SOS Print and Media, together with our sister company, Pegasus Print Group, are committed to real, long-term sustainability, and we look at our whole supply chain, requiring accountability from our suppliers, examining our own output, and keeping our eco-conscious retailers in mind; all while incorporating environmental printing practices that are better for nature.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
The versatility of paper makes it one of the most sustainable materials in the world, and it has proven an indispensable staple in the printing industry.
SOS Print and Media makes POS displays out of cardboard instead of plastic, and we even use them to make sturdy, modular furniture!
When it comes to the printing industry, ‘reduce-reuse-recycle’ doesn’t just refer to the use of paper, but also to the reduction in the number of printers needed, the staggering of shipping and deliveries to reduce pollution, the reusing of equipment like X-stands and frames, and of course, the recycling of ink toners, cartridges, printing plates, and shredding of paper waste.
Many also practice remanufacturing, which involves refurbishing and reusing parts of old machines in new!
- Use of eco-friendly inks and materials
Many traditional inks used in the printing process expel toxic chemicals in the air, which are incredibly harmful to the environment. The use of more environmentally friendly alternatives like soy-based and water-based inks that are not only better for the environment, but also produces more vibrant colours.
The use of ecokote, an alternative to plastic lamination, are just one of the incredible discoveries in the journey to sustainability. The use of biodegradable materials such as these make paper easier to recycle and reuse.
Even the shift from offset to digital printing betters the environment with shorter print runs, less energy consumption, and less wastage.
- Print on demand
Print on demand simply means made-to-order. It’s a game changer in the printing industry, saving tremendous amounts of waste!
With print on demand, printing isn’t done until an order is placed. No extra inventory means no unused materials, no overproduction, and less products in the landfill.
SOS Print and Media prides itself on using a streamlined printing process — from digital purchase orders that use less paper to a more insulated space that reduces energy use, we do our best to give our customers peace of mind regarding the carbon footprint we all leave behind.
Initial sustainability efforts may cost more of your budget than you initially predicted, but such investment pays off not only environmentally, but also economically, and socially as well.
If you’re determined to contribute to global sustainability efforts, it’s important to work with people, products and processes that are sourced ethically and are environmentally compliant.
Despite the complexity of balancing environmental impact and waste control, the switch to environmentally friendly printing is being called upon by governments around the world.
We at SOS Print and Media, along with other suppliers in the printing industry, are answering the call with sustainable printing processes that minimise our impact on the environment and focuses on positive changes we can make today, for the good of tomorrow.
If you’re curious to know more about sustainability and are looking into ordering eco-friendly prints, you should find exactly what you need at SOS Print and Media.
Just contact us at to find out more about our green initiatives, and one of our team will be happy to talk to you about your options at email@example.com
Together, we can make a difference.