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Adobe throws its weight behind new PaperLess Alliance.

Tuesday, 30 June 2009
By Print 21 Online Article

Philip Andersen, CEO Printing Industries, takes exception to portrayal of printed communication as less environmentally sustainable than electronic PDFs.

The Paper-Less Alliance campaign was created late last year by Do Something, a not-for-profit established by Planet Ark founders Jon Dee and Pat Cash, in association with Tina Jackson, the former executive director of the National Trust of Australia and aims to reduce the usage of excess paper in businesses.

Do Something has partnered with a group of companies that also promote using and providing paper reduction technologies. The principal sponsor of the Paper-Less Alliance is Adobe and the Founding Partners are Toshiba, Redmap, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Indigo, Sitecore and Gruden and PaperCut.

According to Calum Russell, Adobe’s group marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, the company chose to get involved with Do Something because the two shared similar ideas regarding responsible business practices. Russell believes that the Paper-Less Alliance will not have a negative impact upon the printing industry. “Our focus is on the way that businesses use paper – it’s not targeting print companies and won’t affect them,” he said.

“When you create a document, often the process is to print out 10 copies; we are saying ‘let’s move to an electronic medium and share it as a PDF, get people to mark it up and send it back?’ It’s both efficient and productive, but also saves paper by not having to print anything.”

Printing Industries CEO, Philip Andersen, was outraged at the news. He believes that the promotion of environmental arguments such as the Paper-Less Alliance undermine the business interests of a major part of Adobe’s customer base, the printing industry.

“It is quite wrong to be supporting the portrayal of paper as the environmental bogey man and electronic communication as the environmental savior when this is not the case,” he said.
“There is also the ever-increasing demand for electricity to power the internet and computers which appears to be overlooked in the arguments. Balance is important in all things, particularly in the environment, and by combining the power of paper with the efficiency of electronics, communication can be streamlined and environmental balance achieved.
“Profit-driven exercises to exclude one at the expense of the other will only damagethe same environment we all say we want to preserve,” Andersen said

Alex Nemeth, (pictured) regional business director at rival company, Quark, said that it had “no immediate plans” to join the Paper-Less Alliance.

Nemeth believes that it is possible for the printing industry to work hand in hand with the environment. “The jobs in paper, printing, marketing and publishing industries need to be supported in harmony with the environment,” Nemeth said. “Print in marketing and publishing activities provides impact and business results, and efforts should be made to print on recycled paper and promote the recycling of used product.”

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