Showing an awareness of an environmental impact is crucial to the success of any modern business, and company decision-makers should remember that any money spent in going green will likely be returned in increased business from those who choose to work with a forward-thinking company. As well as the satisfaction gained from knowing they are making an effort, business owners should also be aware that going green is not as expensive as some companies seem to imagine.
Most printing companies in operation today already have environmental policies in place. For example, Australian print companies have seen a 97% drop in their carbon footprint since 1990. Many printing associations have environmental standards that they encourage all of their members to follow. These can be achieved by sourcing paper from companies that use post-consumer and agricultural waste recycled materials to create their product. It can also be helped along by buying paper from companies who refuse to create their paper by using old-growth forest trees.
Other ways for a printing company to become environmentally sustainable include using vegetable based inks, investing in biodegradable packaging, having a plan for safely discarding hazardous waste materials, and obtaining third-party certification from a group such as the Small Business Administration that states their company is in fact environmentally friendly.
On a broader sense, companies can also become more environmentally sustainable by switching to LED lighting, providing recycling bins and contracting with a company to pick up recyclable material, redesigning their buildings to become Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, and training their staff in how to be environmentally responsible and more efficient.