Print’s environmental image needs work says Lawrence

In his presentation at the Five Dock Club, Lawrence told a group of around 50 industry representatives that in 2007, data showed the print industry was 97 per cent less damaging to the environment than it was in 1990 due to advances in technology.

Lawrence continued that despite the modernisation of print resulting in a lighter footprint on the environment the industry is still associated with pollution – using solvents, smelly inks, and noisy equipment – and waste of valuable natural resources.

He says, “When people think of the environment they think of tress, people have an emotional attachment to tress and the print industry is seen as cutting down swaves of them.

“Companies and governments are being encouraged to cut their carbon footprint by reducing their print however a company cutting all its paper would only reduce its carbon footprint by around half a per cent.”

Lawrence continued that the print industry has undergone “creative destruction” with the introduction of technologies such as CTP, which has dramatically reduced its impact on the environment, a change which other industries are yet to go through.

He says, “We are the accidental environmentalist through the invisible hand of technology, it’s these advances and the intense competition in the industry that has driven environmental change. Who knows what would have happened if we tried.”

Lawrence concluded that the lack of a united industry voice is creating difficulties getting the positive message to the public.

He adds, “Nobody knows what we have been doing, we have kept it a secret. As an industry we sometimes lack the creative ideas at getting our message across so instead of just defending ourselves we need to start moving on the front foot.”


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