Sustainability in Sign & Graphics
It might be tempting to gloss over yet another article about sustainability in the print industry. But, the reality is that sustainability is just as — if not more — important than ever before.
Print is a powerful and ever-present force in every part of our lives. It might not be the industry that produces the most waste (the fashion industry is most often credited with that dubious honor, although it can vary depending on what factors are considered, and who is tracking them), but that doesn’t meant printers as a whole don’t have a responsibility to try and pitch in wherever possible.
Global warming. Climate change. Endangered species. Carbon emissions. All of these are issues that impact every person on this planet. And with major hurricanes becoming more frequent, and stronger; parts of the Amazon rainforest burning; trash piling up in the oceans; and a host of other issues gaining more international attention, it is worth taking a moment to stop and reconsider how printers can help contribute to the solutions.
That resolve is helped along by the fact that brands and marketers are feeling that very same pressure. “People are looking for more friendly solutions when it comes to both the type of materials they are using,” notes Kevin Duffy, the VP sales and marketing for Vycom, a division of the AZEK Company (Booth 7644). “But it is also about a total solution, and not just the recycled content in the product. They want to know they are — from start to finish, cradle to cradle — making a more responsible choice. That is something that has been changing, and customers are asking for things they haven’t before — and they are willing to pay for it.”
Duffy notes that millennials have been raised from a young age talking about and thinking about environmental issues. Remember, millennials are now their 30s. Don’t forget that the current crop of youth making waves is known as the iGen, and they are the 20-somethings everyone likes to think are still years away from being relevant in the context of making hard business decisions.