Firstly, we’d like to shine a light on the fact that Print is largely produced using sustainable materials. In the last decade, there has been a huge push towards more digital based marketing tools but this has been driven primarily by digital service providers who have reinforced certain myths and misconceptions about paper’s impact on forests in an attempt to push consumers towards digital communications.
The Printing Industry is at the forefront of improvements in environmental performance in manufacturing with printing companies showing a high take up of standards set by the FSC and PEFC. The Print Industry is also concerned with its impact on the environment. With new research showing that print and paper products being one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gases at only 0.8%. Compared with the ICT Industry who’s stats lie at 3%, predicted to rise to 14% by 2040. For those companies with sustainability and environmental concerns as part of their ethos, using print marketing over digital could be a step towards reducing their carbon footprint.
With so many efforts being made to reduce waste, to create more sustainably sourced materials and develop less harmful manufacturing methods, it’s easy to see why there are increasing numbers of eco-friendly print products available on the market.
What Are We Doing?
Here at John E Wright, we are always on the lookout for new and emerging products that support our natural environments and we are continuously making efforts to convert to more sustainable ways of working with a goal of becoming completely carbon neutral.
John E Wright Managing Director, Tony Barnett recently said “If you don’t invest in the latest technology, you fill the world with hazardous chemicals and carbon emissions – it’s no way to run a business”. In line with that, John E Wright has, for years, invested in the latest technology in an effort to reduce emissions and power consumption.
Evolution Digital Uncoated is an eco-friendly range of recycled paper print products that John E Wright are proud to now be offering. Produced in Austria by Lenzing who follow strict environmental standards, the Evolution Digital Uncoated range is made from cellulose which is entirely biodegradable and can re-enter the eco-system naturally, preparing the ground on which new plants grow. Furthermore, the CO2 emissions from every sheet of Evolution are mitigated through Premier Papers Carbon Capture programme which we talk about in more depth below.
In early 2020 as part of our broader drive to sustainability and the use of recycled and recyclable products we reviewed our packing usage. Since then we have introduced Ecolope – a padded range of mailers which are made from paper, are plastic free and are 100% recyclable. We have also started using bio bubble wrap which contains additives to assist faster breakdown when disposed of.
With our commitment to the environment, we ceased using solvent based presses several years ago, instead utilising water based inks which are odourless and non-hazardous meaning the substrates can be fully recycled after use. We also made a huge £800,000 investment in the environmentally friendly Vutek G5 and H5 UV cool cure printers between 2014 and 2019. Importantly, these 3.2m printers have the lowest carbon footprint per sq metre of any print production technology in the world, have zero waste ink and emissions and are a huge step forward in environmental responsibility within the print industry.
In recent years, it has been a delight to see an increased client demand for greener solutions. In line with this, sourcing more sustainable indoor and outdoor graphic display materials is another way we are making Earth conscious decisions. One of the great products we now offer is the Kavalan range of PVC free banner materials. Kavalan is a truly green product – being 100% recyclable and a waste-to-energy product, they provide zero harm and transfer the energy produced straight to the National Grid.
Another exciting development within the company in the movement towards being carbon neutral is the adoption of 3 new electric cars. With another 3 to come later this year, the 5 year plan is to replace our 18 strong fleet with electric only vehicles.
John E Wright Managing Director noted “the company covers over 400,000 miles a year delivering print to our customers. I am determined that over the next 5 years pretty much all of those miles will move from diesel fueled to electric contributing to a cleaner environment and a hugely lower carbon footprint”
Working with the Woodland Trust
Since 2020, John E Wright have partnered with The Woodland Trust by signing up to their Carbon Capture Scheme.
The aim of the scheme is to give organisations and businesses the opportunity to offset their CO2 emissions, consequently reducing their carbon footprint.
The scheme works by organisations electing to Carbon Capture their paper purchases. This is a calculation that the Woodland Trust have worked out by using Carbon Trust and DEFRA figures based on the amount of CO2 emitted from the manufacture and distribution of a tonne of paper. This figure is then outlined separately on invoices and then donated directly to The Woodland Trust to plant native woodland in the UK.
Since the start of 2022 alone, 266,000 trees have been planted as a result of the funds collected through the scheme.