We’ve been looking over the past few months at what print industry associations can do to help members spread the sustainability message. So far we’ve outlined five ideas for what media professionals can do to raise awareness of print’s sustainability.
Top of the list is to help printing and publishing companies to improve waste management throughout the supply chain. They can also provide guidance on how to meet the three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, to which it was suggested that we add Renewables. Associations can encourage members to be aware of the energy missions associated with a project, they can promote employee engagement and ecological thinking, and they can suggest ways to raise awareness of the environment and of sustainability.
This last is very subjective since it depends numerous criteria, not least of which is how much stakeholders in the business value the environment and its protection. At the very least it’s probably a good idea to add the sustainability message to any marketing communications, which brings us neatly to number six on the list. That is to encourage members to share with customers their company’s commitment to managing our industry’s environmental impact, and how they are going about it. This could be quite a vote winner for companies who want to expand their range of business, particularly with big name brands and in the packaging sector. The heightened awareness of plastic pollution is surely an opportunity to shout about paper packaging, share ideas and to raise the company’s profile.
Much of this list of suggestions for industry associations is stuff that many companies already do. Organisations across the world have been taking the lead for well over ten years. They include the Sustainable Green Partnership in the USA, FESPA which offers its Planet Friendly Guides internationally, and the Printing Industry Association of Australia. These sustainability leaders are beacons of inspiration for the rest of us.
For industry associations to take a lead on sustainability initiatives for their members takes motivation, energy and enthusiasm. It also takes time and resources, but the success of the various organisations mentioned above should encourage others to take the plunge. These organisations offer great examples of how to go about taking the lead, and they are a source of ideas for associations throughout the world. It’s a more than solid start, so what are you waiting for?