Did you know that around 14% of deforestation is done to meet paper product demand?
Although the world has become increasingly digital, print remains important for business. From business cards to brochures to posters, businesses need printing. But for many, concerns regarding the environmental impacts of large scale printing are on the rise.
So what environmentally-conscious printing alternatives do businesses have?
The answer is in eco-friendly printing. This process allows businesses to have the best of both worlds. Especially since a sustainable printing experience is closer to home than ever before!
Searching for "sustainable print companies near me" is the first step. When you use local printing services, you limit how much fuel is burned from start to finish. You know that sustainable print companies give back to your community.
If you're ready to take sustainability seriously, keep reading!
Why Use a Printing Company?
Firstly, it's important that you understand what a printing company really does. If you have a printer in your office, you may question why you even need to use a printing company. But the truth is, professional printing companies offer customers a world more than just your basic company brochure.
Printing companies exist to help your company succeed. When you get a professional print job your clients will know that you value quality.
First impressions are everything, so put your best foot forward! Here are some great examples of where a professional print job stands out.
Outsourcing your printing needs comes with one massive perk: professionals. Most likely, you don't have any printing experts on staff. That's where your printing company comes in!
Instead of paying for an in-house pro all the time, the expertise of a printing company comes for free. Your print company can give you the best recommendations to make your printing stand out.
While the design on your business cards stands out, the quality of the print job is another important factor.
High-quality business cards give potential clients the best impression right off the bat. Not only should the printing be crisp, but so should the paper! The right business card should feel good and look good to tell your clients that you mean business.
On average, a company's sales increase by 2.5% per 2000 business cards. Why miss out on the business?
Reminding your clients you care is sometimes overcomplicated. Having as much as a greeting card sent out around the holidays can give your clients warm fuzzies.
Print companies can give you pristine greeting cards for any occasion! Show your clients a bit of love on their birthdays, or send a thank-you note if you close a big sale. These small gestures can turn into great returns for businesses.
Choosing The Right Printing Company
Overall, hiring a printing company for your businesses print needs is always the best choice. However, its important to consider a few factors before choosing exactly which one.
Although quality deliverables and a helpful and skilled team is important, there are additional factors worth considering.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
When you think about a carbon footprint, you may not think about transportation. Overseas transportation is one of the bigger factors in a business's carbon footprint.
A carbon footprint is the overall emissions of a person or organization. There are many contributing factors to carbon footprints, so we'll go over a few.
Sustainability of Materials
Materials for any given product can come from a variety of sources. Obviously, trees are the main ingredient of paper. How those trees are sourced is key.
Is the logging company replenishing the trees they cut down? Is there any recycled content within the paper? How much energy is being used to create that piece of paper?
These are all factors that go into the carbon footprint and sustainability of paper.
Fuel Used From Point A to Point B
Not only is the fuel used in the manufacturing process, but it's also used in transport. Going back to our paper example, the further the product is coming from, the greater the impact.
Another factor would be the transportation method. Planes, trains and automobiles use up different amounts of fuel. However, if a product comes from overseas it's using multiple forms of transport.
This is where a quick google search for "print companies near me" can make a huge difference. A local print shop cuts that fuel-burning down exponentially!
Playing a Bigger Game
The culmination of products and business operations feeds into a company's carbon footprint. By the time it's all added up, it can turn into a bigger impact than anticipated.
Making small changes to business practices makes a small but important difference. Ultimately, we all want to be nicer to our planet. Calculating your carbon footprint and making action plans is a great start!
Picking Print Companies Near Me
So you're sold on looking into a print company. Great choice!
Picking through options for printing companies can be tough. Especially when you're looking for eco-friendly alternatives. We'll give you nitty-gritty details on how to pick the best print company for your needs.
The balance between quality and cost is hard to find. When you're looking for a print company, you want to get the best of both worlds.
A good printing company will have tons of options for pricing. The best way to learn about pricing is to request a quote. Each job is different and prices will fluctuate depending on the job at hand.
When you request your quote, you'll also want to take note of how responsive the company is. It's hard to work with a company with low-response rates. Ideally, your print company should get back to you quickly.
Finally, don't be afraid to look at all your options! Comparing printing costs of a few will ensure you're not missing anything.
Ensure Your Needs Are Met
When you have a project at hand, you always want to make sure it's doable. The same goes for printing jobs. Always be sure to check that what you want to be done is available.
The ideal scenario is to have one print company that meets all your needs. This should include any projects you expect in the near future. Building a rapport with your printing company can make life a lot easier.
A great print company will boast account representatives. These representatives will ensure timely responses to your requests. They'll also help you through the process of making sure your needs are met.
Ordering online makes it tough to know what you're getting. Before you order anything, always request some samples. This way, you can see and feel your options before you commit to a bulk order.
This is often a free process that can save you money in the long run. The whole process of getting samples takes around two weeks depending on how many you request. This allows you to make an informed decision on how you're spending your money.
Most print companies are thrilled to show off their work. Samples are how they show you their attention to detail and quality. Take the time to get some samples and add them to your comparisons for your final decision.
Before you go into picking a print company, have an idea of how much printing you'll be needing. Keep in mind that some print companies only deal with large quantities.
Your ideal print company will be able to accommodate your needs in terms of quantity. Not only in the moment, but also in the future. As you grow, your desired quantities will likely change so make sure your print company can grow with you.
There's a lot more to printing than business cards. Printing companies offer tons of services!
The printing company you choose to work with should offer all the products you need to be printed. This will save you from having to work with multiple companies. As different projects will need different services you may as well have them all done with one company.
Have a look at your current and future projects to get an idea of what you'll need. If you're not sure if a printing company offers a certain service, ask! The worst they can say is no.
Knowing which printing companies offer the services you need will narrow things down. As mentioned, be sure to request samples for all the products you're interested in!
Acceptable File Types
While the standard is PDF, print companies understand that PDFs aren't always possible.
For example, if your graphic designer works in Photoshop, you'll want PSDs to be acceptable. This will mean less back and forth between you and your designer. It also means your print company can easily suggest edits.
This information will be listed in the FAQ section of your printer's website. Again, if you don't find it, make sure to ask. This way you can limit back and forth when the time comes to put in your order.
The opinions of others can be extremely telling. Reading online reviews can give you a glimpse into the experience of working with a company.
Reviews will tell you about everything from customer service to quality. This can often be the first impression you get of a print company so read a couple.
A great way to read through reviews is by sorting by the medium reviews first. three and four-star reviews often contain the most relevant information. These reviews will give you both the strengths and weaknesses of a company.
You'll also want to look at how many reviews there are. Is there an overwhelming amount of reviews with high or low ratings?
An overwhelming amount of positive reviews is the best-case scenario. If most people are having a positive experience with a company, you likely will as well.
We all know paper takes its toll on the environment. But did you know ink does as well?
Traditional printer inks contain heavy metals and volatile organic compounds. These aspects make it extremely toxic when they end up in a landfill. Not to mention the plastic that houses the ink can take thousands of years to break down.
Ink also has a large carbon footprint. One standard-sized toner cartridge emits around 4.8 kg of CO2.
That's one of the reasons why at TEAM we take sustainability seriously. Soy-based ink is one of the tools print companies use to promote sustainability.
Soy-based inks not only produce more vibrant color. But they also make the recycling process easier.
How Do I Know I'm Getting Sustainable Ink?
We're all trying to do our part to be eco-friendly so you want to know what you're getting. When you're looking into printing companies, you'll need to know what to look for. Here are some tips to find sustainable options!
The first thing to look for is that a company is forthcoming with its sustainability. It's something to be proud of, so you should see it front and center. If you don't see it, make sure to ask!
Another thing to look for is a company's promise to lessen its environmental impact. Within this promise, you'll see what they're doing to uphold this promise. Look for sustainable and soy-based inks in this promise.
Finally, when you know soy-based inks are available, be sure to ask for these inks when you order. From here, your rep will let you know if it's possible for your project. If not, they'll let you know how to make it possible!
These days, recycled paper is easily accessible and affordable. Not to mention carbon neutral paper is becoming more and more common.
Paper can actually be recycled up to seven times. Combined with the fact that paper is one of the most commonly recycled materials in the US, it's a no-brainer! Recycled paper is a great option for sustainability.
A printing company that boasts sustainability will have recycled paper as an option. You'll simply request eco-friendly paper when getting a quote done up.
How is Regular Paper Made?
Even though paper is a common material, do you know how it's made?
There are two main processes in making paper. One is making pulp and the other is making paper.
Pulp is most commonly made from trees and can be made physically or chemically. In the physical process, the wood is repeatedly chopped up to leave wet suspended fibers. In the chemical process, the wood is boiled in strong alkalis to produce the fibers.
From here, the pulp is turned into paper with the help of heavy machinery. The machinery dries and rolls the pulp to make large rolls.
As you can imagine, this takes a lot of trees and energy. Eco-friendly paper works to limit this process.
Why Choose Eco-Friendly Paper
While recycling doesn't take the trees out of paper, it does lessen the impact. Recycled paper uses less energy to make. In turn, helping in limiting your carbon footprint.
Eco-friendly paper these days prints just as well as regular paper. It's indistinguishable from regular paper aside from its smaller carbon footprint! It's a perfect option for anything you get printed.
When you're getting a quote done, make sure to ask about eco-friendly paper. As it's becoming more accessible, eco-friendly paper should be on your wishlist.
Another way printing companies can go green is with low-energy printing. Every year, technology gets better and low-energy printers are a testament to that!
If you're looking for a sustainable print company to work with, keep an eye out for low-energy printers. These printers have reduced energy consumption without compromising speed or quality. This ensures that your print job has a low carbon footprint.
These printers also have sophisticated LED curing systems. The same lights that bring down electric bills are a game-changer for printing. Not only is it quick and effective curing, but it's energy-efficient!
How to Get Low Energy Printing
When you're shopping around for printing companies, be sure to look for specifics. Be sure to check their website for their equipment lineup. This will give you an idea of what they have to meet your needs.
Look through their equipment for something like the Komori Lithrone GL640. This press is specifically designed to limit waste, prep, and production time. It's also leading the way for using as little energy as possible.
When you're trying to pick a printing company with an eco-friendly track record, it's go big or go home. Opt for a print company that's committed to environmental action. That way you can get the trifecta!
The trifecta of green printing comes from the paper, the ink, and the printer. Not only can you get eco-friendly paper and ink, but you'll also be able to opt for a low-energy printer. This gives you the ultimate bang for your buck for green printing.
A print company that has all three gives you peace of mind. This way you know that your environmental impact has decreased greatly.
Look for References
Like anything, you want to know that your printing company is the best you can get. Especially for things like sustainability! A good print company will have references to ensure legitimacy.
A good printing company will also boast these references on their website. Things like certification and client testimonials are worth a lot for sustainability.
The idea that companies need certification isn't new. Any print company should have certifications to verify they know their stuff. When it comes to heavy equipment, it takes a lot of knowledge to keep them going.
Things like ISO Certifications are great to look for! These show compliance within the field. They will also extend to materials like inks.
There will also be environmental certifications. These will usually be readily available on their website.
Another great way to evaluate which printing company your business should hire is asking about any awards they may have been granted! Awards are often given to printing companies near you to recognize those dedicated to superior printing quality.
A print company having an award is a great way to tell if you're going to get quality results. Similar to certifications, print companies will be proud of these achievements! Check through their websites to see any potential awards.
Everyone loves a good review and print companies are no exception!
Check the websites for testimonials. There will often be a tab on their website dedicated to testimonials. They should sound like they're from real customers.
A huge part of being eco-friendly is community impact. Making the world a better place is more than just business. It's also about outreach.
Community impact within a company shows potential customers that it's action-oriented. Look for environmental organizations that they work with. This way, you know if they're truly committed to environmental issues.
Eco-friendly options should be available at every step of the process. The packaging your order comes in is no exception!
Packaging is one of the most wasteful aspects of commerce. In fact, in 2018, traditional packaging accounted for around 40% of plastic waste. A lot of that of course ends up in landfills or worse: our oceans.
Sustainable packaging is a way for you to get in the driver's seat when it comes to waste reduction. When you pick out a printing company, make sure they offer sustainable packaging!
What Counts as Sustainable Packaging?
In the last decade, great strides have been made in terms of eco-friendly packaging. Of course, these options look different depending on different industries.
Within the printing industry, normal packaging is normally quite excessive. As an example, a print job would come in a large cardboard box with bubble wrap to secure it. Each batch of 20 may also come shrink-wrapped.
Already, that's quite a bit of packaging. So what's the alternative?
Eco-friendly packaging will look like smaller boxes. Products will also not come individually wrapped in plastic unless absolutely necessary. As for the bubble wrap, air pillows are a less wasteful alternative that can be recycled.
Eco-Friendly Packaging for Your Company
If your company deals with shipping, you may want eco-friendly packaging for yourself! That said, you may not want to lose the branding on your boxes. This is where the right print company can give you the best of both worlds.
Taking a step into eco-friendly packaging is intimidating. The right print shop will work with you to get the best for your company.
Eco-friendly packaging includes materials as well as the inks used on the materials. Another hallmark of a good printing company is waste consciousness in production. This means that a print company maximizes its materials effectively.
Your eco-friendly packaging will look different based on the needs of your company. Working with your rep ensures you get effective packaging for your company's needs.
In the paper industry, a carbon footprint can rack up quickly. This is where carbon balancing comes in.
Carbon balance is exactly how it sounds. It's the concept of balancing CO2 uptake and loss within an ecosystem.
CO2 uptake refers to how much CO2 is used up by an ecosystem. As we all know, trees take in CO2 and water to create oxygen via photosynthesis. However, CO2 becomes an issue when there is an excess.
CO2 excess leads to CO2 loss, meaning that it goes into the atmosphere. This creates greenhouse gasses.
In order to prevent CO2 loss, responsible forestry is a must. Forests are our primary defense against CO2 loss, so a balance is necessary.
Responsible forestry is a practice that balances human needs with environmental needs. This process comes in a few forms. Notably, responsible forestry cannot include clear-cutting.
Another way wildlife organizations practice responsible forestry is by promoting new growth. Tree planting is a common practice that is essential for rebuilding our forests.
Before putting in your order with a printing company, you'll want to know it's responsible. Always make sure that it uses responsibly sourced paper. This can include recycled paper or paper sourced from responsible forests.
If you don't see the information on a print company's website, ask! A company that uses recycled and responsible paper will be excited to tell you all about it. If they're hesitant, consider that a red flag.
Community impact is a way for companies to do better every day. These small actions facilitate change on a greater level than just within a company. Consider sharing the wealth!
A company engages in community impact when they donate and support causes. These causes will align with a company's goals and values. It's a good benchmark to know if a print company shares your company values.
A print company that is committed to sustainability is great. However, helping others to attain their sustainability goals is better. This way no one gets left behind in the journey to sustainability!
Community impact also extends beyond environmental issues. Social development is another extremely common issue for community impact. These can be organizations like women's shelters or LGBTQ+ charities.
Recognizing Community Impact
When you're shopping around for a print company, you want to know their values reflect your own. A printing company will have its community outreach achievements listed on its website.
When you find this page, be sure to scroll down to see the organizations the company supports. When you order from a print company, you'll in turn be supporting these organizations as well!
Along with community impact, print companies should advocate for what they believe in. Commercial printing companies have a responsibility to their communities to fight for positive change, share insights, and drive sustainable improvements in the industry!
But what sort of advocacy efforts should a commercial printing company be vocal about exactly?
Promoting The Print and Graphic Arts Industries
There is clear evidence that a thriving industry – printing, manufacturing, building – is a key to in-creased productivity and economic growth. Commercial printing companies near you have an inherent responsibility to proactively promote the industry.
Prioritizing Collaboration Over Competition
As printing costs continue to rise, the importance of collaboration is more important than ever. If a shared men-tality can deliver improvements to the industry, everyone benefits. This effort does not homogenize the industry, but allows everyone to benefit with shared knowledge.
The best printing companies focus on creating a culture of collaboration throughout the industry. Sharing information is the catalyst for future successes for commercial printers and the industry itself. The collective successes of the companies that make up the industry further benefits their customers.
Sustainable Print Companies Near Me
The future of the planet relies on a tangible change in all our habits. Printing is still an important aspect of business. It's important to do our part to limit waste and emissions.
That's why choosing a print company carefully is key. A good printing company will understand the environmental impact of printing. It will also have a solid action plan to reduce waste and emissions at all stages of production.
We've gone over this a bit, so we'll give you a quick refresh.
Companies use materials that are available close to home.
Materials are responsibly sourced.
Materials like paper and ink are not only good quality but are also eco-friendly.
Packaging is low-waste.
Commitment to environmental advocacy and community impact
Sustainability should be in every step of a print company's process. That's what separates a print company from talking the talk and walking the walk. The right company can also help you lessen your company's carbon footprint!
When choosing a print company to work with, you want to know they're experts in the field. Print companies not only offer expertise but also industry-leading equipment. Especially when print companies emphasize sustainability.
One of the biggest advantages of having a print company by your side is expert advice. You want to ensure that you're getting a team of professionals to help you with your print jobs.
Industry-leading print companies will create excellence in their work. This leads to print companies becoming leaders in their environmental promises. Naturally, your company will reap these benefits as well!
Finally, a good print company will inspire future generations of printing professionals.
Identifying Your Industry Experts
If you want to know that you'll be working with experts in the field, you can check a couple pages on a company's site. You can always check pages like "our story". This will let you know how long the company has been around and what its core values are.
You can also check equipment lists. While you may not know what the equipment all does, you can see how it stacks up next to other companies. A perfect thing to look for is a full profile of the equipment.
TEAM Legacy: Our Promise To Our Customers
If your business is looking for sustainable printing companies near me, use this guide to ensure you know what to look for. Making environmentally conscious business decisions begins with choosing a print company focused on GREEN practices and the impact they have on their communities.
Here at TEAM Concept Printing, we’ve always taken bettering the industry and serving our communities seriously. Which is why in early 2022, we formalized our TEAM LEGACY program to continue making strategic efforts going forward. TEAM LEGACY is centered on three core principles:
Making a Positive Community Impact
Enhancing Sustainability Practices & Urgency Within Our Operations
Advocating for all Positive Aspects of the Commercial Print Industry
Our focus is to actively address the topics that are most material to our business and partners, and translate our sustainability actions into tangible goals. To learn more about TEAM LEGACY, download our PDF.
If you’re looking for top of the line printing services, visit our website to get a free quote today!