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Paper tigers band together

Tuesday, 05 May 2009
By Print21

Australia’s five leading paper-based organisations band together as Sustainable Print Alliance.

Australia’s top 200 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) have been targeted by the newly founded group, in a move to educate the corporate sector about the environmental credentials of print.

The Sustainable Print Alliance (SPA) consists of APIA; Australian Catalogue Association; Printing Industries; GAMAA and ADMA. Printing Industries CEO Philip Andersen, said the move was part of an overall campaign that needed the full support of industry companies as well as the alliance associations.
"We are sharing our resources and knowledge and working to centralise promotional and informative information in one area that can be accessed by everyone in the industry. There are many companies, even now, who have prepared their own material to promote the environmental friendliness of print and we would also like to include this information as well so the industry as a whole can use it,” he said.

Anderson said that the catalyst for SPA was the trend towards e-based communication and misinformation circulated regarding the use of ink on paper. “Many companies are encouraging recipients of e-communication to print these materials on office printers based on the premise that this is a more environmentally friendly platform. The facts demonstrate otherwise,” he said.

Karen Goldsmith, executive director of GAMAA welcomed the initiative. “GAMAA is pleased to be a partner in the Sustainable Print Alliance.  Environmental sustainability is inextricably linked to the sustainability of our industry. It is in everyone’s interest to do whatever we can to promote initiatives that raise awareness towards environmental responsibility,” she said. 



Here follows the text of the letter sent to the ASX 200 companies.

New Alliance Demonstrates Environmental Credentials of Print
The global focus on climate change has placed the environment top of mind for many companies. With this increased interest comes the proliferation of environmental information, much of which could be more aptly termed misinformation.

Of particular concern is the notion commercially produced print poses an environmental threat. This is most certainly not the case. With advancements in environmentally sustainable print production and enhanced recycling processes, print is in many instances more environmentally friendly than e-communication.

The Sustainable Print Alliance (SPA) has been formed with the mandate to disseminate environmental information relevant to our industries and to make this information available to corporate Australia. This information is designed to assist companies in determining the most effective environmental course when communicating with their key stakeholders – shareholders, consumers, government and the marketplace.

The catalyst for the formation of the SPA is the trend towards e-communication and misinformation circulated regarding ink on paper. Many companies are encouraging recipients of e-communication to print these materials
on office printers based on the premise that this is a more environmentally friendly platform. The facts demonstrate otherwise:
• In-office printing of a single page A4 document in black consumes the same amount of energy it takes to produce 100 A4 pages, printed both sides in colour, on a commercial printing press.

Commercially printed communication materials are today more environmentally sustainable than ever before.
Please consider the following:
• Paper is produced using a renewable resource – timber
• Sustainable timber harvesting is Greenhouse Gas emissions neutral
• The paper industry plants more trees than are harvested. It is estimated that there are 25% more trees today in the developed world than in 1900
• Paper and printed communication can be completely recyclable
• Since 1990 energy consumption and Greenhouse Gas emissions per tonne of paper produced has declined by 21% and 22% respectively.
• Water used per tonne of paper production has reduced by 63% and is recycled up to 5 times
• Biofuels deliver around 46% of energy needs in pulp and paper production
• Current printing technology is up to 60% more energy efficient than 20 years ago, with solvent and water use reduced by 90% since 1990
• Printed communication is permanent, portable and easily re-read without requiring additional energy
If you have moved, or are considering moving, your communications to an e-platform we invite you to visit to find out more about the environmental viability of commercially produced print and how you can benefit from the advancements made by our industry towards a sustainable future.
Yours sincerely

  • Tony Wood Manager, APIA
  • Christopher Lee Brown, CEO, ACA
  • Philip Andersen, CEO, Printing Industries
  • Karen Goldsmith,Executive Director, GAMAA
  • Rob Edwards, CEO, ADMA


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