Words Richard Stuart-Turner
Go green or go home Being sustainable is not only good business practice but increasingly a crucial requirement for many customers
Over recent years the climate crisis has intensified, with rising sea levels and regular freak weather events like floods, heatwaves, and wildfires keeping the issue at the top of the news agenda.
Next month will see delegates from 196 countries get together in Glasgow for COP26, the UN climate conference, to agree on how to become a more sustainable society and limit the worst effects of climate change.
COP26 will be attended by heads of state and ministers who can create legislation, business and finance leaders who can commit to making their goods, services, supply chains, and investments more sustainable, and celebrities and influencers who can heighten public awareness and encourage sustainable consumption.
The summit is being seen by many as a watershed moment in the climate crisis, with the potential to steer the future on action to limit global warming.
Print’s own sustainability debate has also never been more animated, with barely a day going by without news of a new sustain-
As such, many businesses who had not really considered such initiatives before are now getting started on their sustainability journey. But for their efforts to be a success, paying lip service is not enough.
“Becoming a more sustainable business demands consistent
What we’re finding is that our customers are saying ‘if I’m going to print this, I might as well make sure it is sustainable and on message” Paul Manning Rapidity able product or businesses investing in green initiatives.
Where a focused eco drive might have once been seen as a key differentiator for a printer, many buyers and brands now require their suppliers to be able to demonstrate their sustainability credentials before they will place work.
effort and an appetite for progression. It is an ever-evolving journey, and the work is never done,” says Julie Tomlinson, marketing communications and sustainability manager at papermaker James Cropper.
“Having said that, sustainable progress is not a nice-to-have, it is essential to the longevity of any
READER REACTION What are the benefits of being a sustainable business?
Michael Green Managing director, MacroArt “Today our clients expect – and, increasingly,
demand – true, measurable sustainability credentials. There is little doubt that this drive for calculable, authentic, and objective sustainability will soon also become a legal responsibility, as well as simply a moral one. MacroArt stands committed to remaining at the forefront of this drive, from both a strongly held moral standpoint and commercial expediency. Our progress to date is testament to our determination to deliver transparent, objective, externally verified and robust sustainability that fulfils both our moral duty and meets any future legal requirements.”
Beth Mayman Operations manager, St Austell Printing Company “When we built our new sustainable factory in 2013, we made a conscious decision to embrace all elements of sustainability and reduce our impact on the environment. We have heavily invested in a range of projects, from energy efficient presses, installing a 150kWp solar panel system through to improving our ISO environmental processes and carbon balancing our entire operation. We continue to take steps towards achieving our net zero goal. All of this is starting to benefit the business in terms of both energy efficiencies and savings, as well as attracting customers with the same core values.”
Tom Maskill Sales and marketing director, Webmart “Before long,
being an environmentally sustainable business will no longer be an option or a nice-to-have, but a necessity. Customer demands are continuing to shift further towards sustainable practices, and businesses who aren’t able to provide responsible solutions will suffer. Not only that, but being sustainable helps to attract and retain talent, improves stakeholder engagement, and is the right thing to do. Getting involved with social media sustainable business groups, joining webinars, and reviewing accreditation requirements are great starting points.”
Printweek October & November 2021
business. From the raw materials your business uses and the energy it consumes, the people you employ, the communities you support – sustainability will continue to provide the stable platform for future growth.” Planet friendly Earlier this year Beccles and Norwich-based Anglia Print was recognised among the ‘Best for the World’ B Corp certified businesses in terms of environmental impact, placing within the top 5%.
Anglia Print uses 100% renewable energy, runs a circular economy, is climate positive – meaning it gives back more than it takes, and has delivered zero waste to landfill since 2005. No chemistry used in its production is harmful to the environment. It is also FSC and ISO 14001 certified, and was the last EMAS accredited printing company in the UK before Brexit.
Managing director John Popely says the main benefit of making his business as green as possible from the moment he took charge nearly 20 years ago “is that I feel happier doing what I’m doing and I can sleep at night”.