The commercial benefits of sustainable print procurement

‘Green’ products are sold as an ethical choice and, because they have added value, often attract a price premium. Businesses create the idea that a ‘green’ product offers more than the standard version of this product. Therefore there must be a charge for this additional offering. In many cases there is no additional cost base to justify this pricing. It is based on what consumers will expect to pay.

The psychology of the consumer has been trained to expect this. Organic foods are sold on this basis. So when you are buying ethically you are often put into the predicament of having to pay more to satisfy your conscience.

In terms of print procurement this mindset is problematic. It is problematic because printing sustainably reduces your cost base and allows you products to be more price competitive. However, as most marketers will tell you, what individuals percieve to be true is the truth. When you advertise a greener printing choice you have to beware of the perception that this will create in the minds of print buyers as to what the implication is for your prices.

It is a battle we at Greenhouse Graphics fight on a daily basis. And it is a battle with an unknown, but potential client. We are trying educate our potential customers about the real commercial benefits of sustainable print procurement. Better pricing results from less waste produced, reduced waste disposal costs, reduced insurance risk (and therefore premiums), improved production efficiency, less resource usgae, reduced energy costs and improved staff morale and motivation.

In 2007 we launched our campaign ‘make a choice, not a compromise’ to project the commercial benefits of sustainable print procurement. It aimed to make people think about sustainable print procurement based on sound commercial decisions rather than purely ethical choices.

To a large extent our campaigns work and our business continues to grow with an ever expanding client base. Its great when you realise that buying sustainably will put money back in your pocket!!

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