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By now it is almost impossible to not have heard of green printing. Companies all over the world are slowly starting to sit up and take note, implementing more effective print management strategies such as managed print services and other solutions to monitor and prevent wasted resources. With a focus on education, sustainability and cost-effectiveness, these practices are helping companies reduce the volumes of print outs produced each year, regardless of the size or nature of the company.
Why exactly is green printing such a big issue however, and is the current situation worsening in regards to paper supplies and natural resources, or is it a bit of hype to get more attention on the green movement as a whole? While it’s easier to assume that a lot of the facts going around are hype, in reality, these facts are huge realities that could have a huge impact on our environment unless measures are taken to address these issues. Some of the latest statistics to come out of the printing industry are particularly shocking, showing the huge level of waste and destruction of natural resources such as tree pulp and wood fibre. These include the following green printing facts:
Forests are being destroyed at a rate of 20 soccer fields per second, to make way for the logging and paper industries as they clear natural forests of their trees to make paper.
Nearly 50% of all trees that are harvested in North America alone are used for the production of paper over any other material or product.
Global production in the pulp, paper and publishing sector is estimated to increase by 77% from 1995 to 2020.
Paper accounts for approximately 40% of the solid waste clogging up landfills across the world, from the US to the UK, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Industrialised and developed nations, with 20% of the world’s population, consume 87% of the world’s printing and writing paper.
The pulp and paper industry is the single largest consumer of water used in industrial activities in developed and developing countries, and is also the third largest industrial greenhouse gas emitter, after the chemical and steel industries.
Paper pulp exports that are derived from South American forests and converted into plantations and paper that is derived from the harvesting and conversion of tropical and subtropical forests are expected to grow about 70% between 2000 and 2010.
75% of the plantations established in the US alone in the last 20 years have been established at the expense of natural forests, and the conversion of forests to paper tree plantations is the leading cause of freshwater wetland loss in these regions.
Rural communities where the paper industry and plantations are concentrated are economically worse off than other rural communities, experiencing higher levels of poverty and unemployment and lower public education allowances.
90% of the logging in British Columbia occurs in ancient forests, and the Ministry of Forest Data itself states that the rate of logging in BC is unsustainable.
Pulp production in Indonesia has more than quadrupled in the last decade, and more than 1.4 million hectares of natural forest have been replaced by plantations.
Satellite images and data show that 80% of the huge fires that burned over 2 million hectares of Indonesian forest in 1997 and 1998 were set deliberately, mainly to clear land for palm oil and pulpwood plantations.
Without green printing, the world’s natural forests will no longer be able to support the huge demand for paper and paper products.
Bob Jones offers advice for businesses seeking the ultimate managed print services for telephone and printer audits and green printing.