Here Are Eco-Friendly Printing Methods And Practices

credit: Adam Helweh, FlickrCCSustainability is a word that we keep hearing time and again. Many large corporations are already practicing the many different doctrines of sustainability, while small and medium-sized businesses have recently increased their commitment to embracing and prioritizing sustainability practices.

When a corporation of any size gets on board with practicing sustainability, in essence, they are creating a chance to work toward a long-term solution that not only benefits the growth of a company and enhances success rate, but also contributes to the community around them.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) constructed and signed in September 2015 presents a valuable growth opportunity for companies. It’s estimated that by 2025, consumers from emerging and leading markets could be worth a whopping $30 trillion.

Companies and industries are leaning toward more sustainable approaches and solutions when it comes to products and services. The printing industry is one of those industries that have solutions for customers looking for sustainable methods to reduce their environmental footprint through the work they commission.

Thanks to advances in technology, there are plenty of suppliers that industries and brands can work with to create and produce sustainable printed material with zero effect on quality.

If your company wants to reduce its carbon footprint and is looking for sustainable and eco-friendly printing methods, here are methods you can propose:

  1. LED UV printing
  2. Recycled paper
  3. Digital printing
  4. Carbon balanced paper
  5. Carbon balanced print
  6. Foil printing

1. LED UV printing

If you want to print booklets, brochures, leaflets, and other small promotional materials, LED UV printing is the perfect method. LED UV printing uses ultraviolet light to ensure that the finished product has an instant drying process. The result is a more vivid display of color, showcasing a clearer and crisp design. LED UV printing usually has a lasting impact.

LED UV printing is an eco-friendly method because it uses much less power than traditional print-drying technology. It also has an instant on/off functionality that decreases energy consumption when in standby mode or when it’s between printing jobs. This makes LED UV an exceptionally green printing method because these mechanisms help reduce CO2 emissions. Another great thing about LED UV printing is that the instant drying process eliminates the need for a sealing coat or an anti-set-off powder spray.

2. Printing on recycled paper

In many cases, the choice of paper we use for printing is also a measure of how sustainable a printing method is. There are many choices of paper out there, and it can be a little confusing to decide which one is best. The ongoing measures taken right now are to use recycled paper because it makes you greener. However, the recycled paper would also require virgin fibers down the line in the paper cycle to maintain its integrity and consistency. Without new fibers from trees, the paper cycle can’t be sustainable. Recycled fibers deteriorate after a few uses, and this would result in the paper industry requiring fresh fibers to maintain the renewable and sustainable cycle.

What do you do? Companies who really want to be ethical in their approach should opt for the recycled paper using virgin fibers from sustainable managed forests.

3. Digital printing

When digital printing is used, it doesn’t require the use of a printing plate. The ink used in digital printing sits on the top layer of the substrate, thus producing less waste than conventional printing methods that require the use of printing plates. For smaller print runs, it’s much better to use digital print. Plus, digital prints often result in a quicker turnaround time than other printing methods. Digital printing can complete up to 4,800 sheets in an hour, so if you need a smaller amount of printing work done, go for digital printing because it’s also cost-effective.

4. Carbon balanced paper

More and more companies are using carbon balanced paper to decrease their carbon footprint when it comes to printing materials. But then, what’s carbon balanced paper? This type of paper refers to the average CO2 used in the entire production process of the paper. Carbon balanced paper means that the CO2 has been offset from paper sourcing, production, and delivery to the paper mill. Printing suppliers who use this type of paper as an option are directly providing a more eco-friendly and sustainable choice for their customer’s printing jobs.

5. Carbon balanced printing

Want to go even further in your eco-friendly printing solutions and practices? Well, the use of carbon balanced paper is a level-up. Carbon balanced printing means that the entire printing company has been measured for its CO2 output. If you’re looking to be eco-friendly with your printing choices, then working with a company that’s Carbon Balanced Printing-certified is the way to go.

When a printing company is certified carbon balanced, the company must invest in methods and ways that ensure the CO2 output is reduced, reversed, or eliminated throughout the entire printing process – not just with paper. Some of the efforts include using electric or hybrid printing machines, automatic lighting, and using double-glazed windows. These measures ensure that the CO2 output for the entire company is at its absolute minimum.

6. Foil printing

With foil printing, it’s extremely possible to create decorative designs and show-stopping details for your printing need, and be safe knowing it won’t impact the environment negatively. Companies such as offer foil printing solutions that don’t have PVC and use non-phthalate inks. According to the Foil Stamping & Embossing Association, (FS & EA), foil printing is compostable and recyclable.

There you have it – ways to go green with your printing solutions. There’s always a way for companies and industries to contribute toward a greener and eco-friendly method of doing business. Since printing still commands a large market, making sustainable choices from paper materials to the printing process can drastically reduce CO2 emissions, resulting in a cleaner environment, and without compromising design and aesthetics.