Monday, July 20, 2009

Are Pixels Greener than Paper?

"More and more people are communicating with electronic media. But are electronic devices the most effective environmental choice for getting information?

Ever decision to communicate has some impact on the environment. For example, whether we email or send a letter, we consumer energy and resources. There are environmental tradeoffs in every choice we make, and there is no simple 'right answer'. Effective stewardship requires a careful examination of the larger picture that compares the entire lifecylce, from raw materials to energy use and end of life, to fully understand the impact and performance of both electronic media and paper.

The facts may surprise you.

RAW MATERIALS: Are they Sustainable?
PAPER: on of the great things about paper is that its primary raw materials are renewable. The paper and forest products industry replenishes more than it takes and ensures the sustainability of our forest by planting 1.7 million trees every single day, more than three times what is harvested. And the U.S. Dept. of Energy has stated that the carbon sequestered on forest lands in 2006 was greater than the carbon released from harvesting wood over the same period.

ELECTRONICS: Making a computer typically requires the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, including gold, silver and palladium, as well as the extensive use of plastics and hydrocarbon solvents. The life span of a computer is short, and electronics have become the fastest growing waste stream in the world.

PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY: OUr industry is on of the biggest users of renewable, low-carbon energy in the world. Sixty percent of the enrgy used to make paper in the U.S. comes form carbon-neutral renewable resources and is produced on site at mills. In addition, these facilities use combined heat and power (CHP) generation systems, which are 80-90% efficient. Fossil fuel use and purchased energy in this industry is steadily decreasing.

ELECTRONIC DATA CENTER SERVERS: Taking only the servers that power the Internet as comparison, the electronics industry uses more than 90% fossil fuels purchased off the grid, which are greenhouse gas emitting. The conventional power-generation systems used are only 45-50% efficient. And the consumption rate for data centers in the U.S. alone doubled from 2000-2006 and is set to double again by 2011.

END OF LIFE: How Does it Break Down?
PAPER: paper is a biodegradable substance that is also recyclable and reusable. Nearly 60% of all paper in the U.S> is recycled and more than 63% of the fiber used to make new paper products in the U.S. comes from recycled sources.

ELECTRONICS: Only 18% of all electronic devices are currently recycled. 1.84 million tons of these devices were disposed of in U.S> landfills in 2006, and an estimated 30-40 millions PCs will be ready for disposal in each of the next few years. Additionally, e-waste now constitutes our single largest toxic waste export.

The fact is both print and electronic media must become increasingly more sustainable to survive, and the choices we make should be based on a data-driven comparative analysis of life cycle, carbon footprint and total environmental impact. The paper and forest products industry has been addressing sustainability for decades, and now adheres to many third-party certification standards and government regulations.

The future sustainability of our society is dependent upon sustainable supply chains over the life cycle of the medium with which we choose to communicate. The ultimate question is not electronics or paper, but what combination of these has the least total impact on our environment."

Source: International Paper Sustainability

International Paper
Academy Graphic Communication
Abundant Forest
International Energy Agency
Environmental Protection Agency

Forest Certification Labels Matter

A Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified vendor protects wildlife, plants, soil, water and ultimately, people.

TerraChoice Environmental Marketing recently named FSC and SFI as two of the most common, credible eco-labels. According to TerraChoice, FSC and SFI met all criteria of a credible eco-label, including third party certification, a publicly available standard and a transparent standard development process.

On product labels show proof of the product's adherence to certification standards. Promotional logos are a way for companies to advertise their commitment to protecting the future of our forests. In certified forest today, for every tree logged 3-4 are planted in it's place. Supporting, promoting and patronizing certified vendors, ensures you are are fulfilling a promise for a sustainable future today and for generations to come.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NAPL Nominates AGC for an Environmental Award

"We are delighted to provide this letter of support for AGC’s nomination for the Northeast Ohio Environmental Award. AGC is a member in good standing with NAPL, the National Association for Printing Leadership. NAPL is a not-for-profit business management association representing progressive leadership companies in the $120+ billion graphic communications industry. Located in Cleveland, OH, AGC is a full-service, eco-friendly marketing communications company and was recognized by NAPL this year for a Marketing Award in green/sustainability efforts in the printing industry.

Nominated Program: AGC has produced a capabilities brochure in a desk calendar format. Entitled 52 Weeks 52 Works, the project highlighted ways community businesses could be more environmentally friendly in producing their own corporate material. In addition, the project showed how AGC is leading the way toward more environmentally conscious work processes through its own continuous improvement and integration of new environmentally friendly technologies into its manufacturing processes.

Community Needs Addressed: AGC recognizes that environmental sustainability is a community-wide effort. The project was designed to showcase local talent to create greater awareness of resources available in the community and highlight how innovative, forward-thinking individuals and groups can draw on each other’s expertise to make a bigger difference together. As part of the project, AGC developed a list of best practices local businesses could use when undertaking new communications projects including using nontoxic soy and vegetable-based inks and varnishes and looking for FSC certified business partners.

Innovative Solutions: The AGC project notes that: “Images are powerful marketing tools.” The entire project is a graphic symbol of how to produce an effective marketing piece while maintaining environmental stewardship. AGC is becoming a local thought leader on how to approach a traditional communications effort in an innovative and environmentally consciousness- raising way. In teaching about environmental alternatives including not only recycled paper, but recycled inks and solvents, AGC is encouraging change in standard business communication procedures while leading by example.

Effect or Impact: AGC has been proactive in teaching clients to consider the entire life-cycle of a product or campaign from raw material usage to end use and disposal. The calendar is well known throughout the creative community as an outlet for highlighting local talent. By dedicating this familiar vehicle to environmental messaging, the project sought to invoke change through a ripple effect, providing a strong message and environmentally sound options currently available to those responsible for other local business marketing efforts. In addition, many of AGC’s clients are nonprofit organizations in northern Ohio including education and health care organizations. By demonstrating their services, AGC is encouraging other organizations on lean budgets to consider environmental alternatives for their business communications needs.

Leadership Qualities: The high quality project demonstrates that environmental products and production processes have improved to the point where no compromises are necessary for businesses to achieve effective and excellent effectiveness in their own customer outreach efforts. In order to produce the piece, AGC, itself, has undergone substantial changes in its production processes. As a result, it was the first commercial printing facility in Ohio to be dual certified by both the Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It invested heavily in upgrading equipment throughout the print cycle and exclusively uses EcoPride process inks and varnishes. Its comprehensive recycling program goes beyond most printers who simply use recycled paper and AGC’s processes includes a zero waste management system. AGC applies the same stringent standards to its own partners and vendors, thereby encouraging a complete Chain of Custody sustainability program.

When discussing environmental concerns, there is much hype put out by key lobbying groups on the negative impact paper, inks and print can have on the environment. Much less is known about the industry’s dedication to forest stewardship and ongoing commitment to environmentally friendly means of helping people communicate effectively. Personal communication is a key human trait, and electronic communication vehicles appear to be environmentally friendly but use enormous energy resources largely unaccounted for by many who purport to be environmentally friendly. Through its unique efforts, AGC has stayed committed to the print medium and its potential to make a difference in people’s lives while demonstrating how environmental issues can be proactively addressed.

Please consider AGC for this prestigious local award. They are certainly deserving."

Submitted by:

Rhona Bronson
SVP Marketing
75 W. Century Rd., Suite 100
Paramus, NJ 07652

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

52 Weeks 52 Works - Now Accepting 2010 Submissions

52 Weeks 52 Works is an annual desk calendar published entirely by Academy Graphic Communication highlighting the talent of Northeast Ohio (NEO) Artists.

The deadline for submission is September 14, 2009

We are amidst the production of the 8th annual desk calendar and we need your talent! Any artist living and working in NEO is eligible (nudity and explicit imagery are restricted). If you are interested or if you know any one who may be interested please forward this information along. You can view the 52 Weeks 52 Works 2009 calendar online or click on the submission form image below.

Upon completion of the calendar every artist will receive 2 copies along with your returned submission. You will see first hand the impressive results achieved when combining the versatility of eco-friendly print communication with the unique talent of NEO’s local artists.

If interested or for more information please contact me or 216-661-2550.