Why Magazine Printing Is Still A Sustainable Choice

For nearly 30 years, Greenhouse’s environmental credentials have exemplified the sustainable approach to print and creative services we deliver. One question that our clients and print industry insiders get asked all the time concerns the sustainability of a magazine printing company. With huge quantities of natural materials being processed annually, surely it would be more sustainable to stop all printing and move everything online instead? Well, no.

A Sustainable Industry

Indeed, the natural world is our source, and in Europe, thanks to well-established certification schemes like Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™), consumers can be reassured that their paper products come from sustainable sources. This means that the forests producing the raw materials are managed in such a way as to always maintain a supply of timber. Paper manufacturing epitomises a circular economy of make, use, recycle and reuse. Furthermore, more than 90% of wood used in the European Paper Industry is sourced from EU Forests. Supplying the raw material is the first step – once produced though, paper fibre can be recycled many times over.

Fact: Virgin fibres from sustainably managed forests are needed to maintain the paper cycle.

Sadly, considerable gains in global forest management, supply-chains and production technologies have been under-represented, to the extent that in 2019 a Two Sides poll revealed that 59% of European consumers believed that European forests were shrinking. In fact, European forests grew by an area equivalent to Switzerland in the decade up to 2015. That’s a forested area of 1,500 football pitches every day in 10 years, and growing!

The Supply Chain Question

Sustainable sourcing is fantastic, but what about other aspects like production, waste and disposal? Thankfully, the paper industry is incredibly innovative, and according to the Confederation of European Industries’ (Cepi) 2020 report, 62% of the European paper industry’s energy production and use is bio-based. Also, nearly 74% of European paper is recycled, which is approaching the practical theoretical maximum recycling rate of 78%. There is a theoretical maximum because not all books are recycled but are kept for reference, and other paper is purely wasted – for instance tissue paper. As far as water usage is concerned, a whopping 92% of water used in European paper production is returned in good condition to the environment. We’re sure many other manufacturing industries only dream of similar percentages.

Fact: Paper packaging is not only the most recycled packaging material in Europe, it also utilises an exceptionally high amount of recycled material in its production.

Paper products from sustainably managed forests, perhaps for sustainable business card printing, need not make us feel guilty about using paper. Even big name web-based branding, Airbnb for one, has for some time now produced their own printed content, suggesting that web-only communication is not a catch-all marketing method. An international survey last year by Two Sides found that 74% of European consumers wish to retain the flexibility of printed and electronic communications from companies.

Fact: In 2019, just 17.4% of global e-waste was collected for recycling (42.5% in Europe).

Tailored Support

Greenhouse partner with a number of local, national and global organisations producing, short run newsletters, monthly magazines and a range of high end journals and and have been instrumental in the growth for a number of successful publications by delivering high quality print with sustainable credentials, alongside our tailored support packages for managed services; including design and artwork, copywriting, fulfilment and distribution, locally, nationally and internationally. Find out more and how we could help.

Eco Friendly Business Card Printing UK

For nearly 30 years Greenhouse has prioritised sustainability in doing business, and we are proud of the gains that our industry has made and will continue to make through technological innovation. We have the knowledge and experience to optimise and integrate your printed products into the circular economy. From choosing recyclable materials and bio-friendly inks, to including certification and recycling symbols on your materials, we want to ensure your confidence in high-end value and quality products that ultimately will be recycled.

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