Go Ahead and Love Paper …. Your Audience Does

Most of us are cognizant of the need to protect our environment. And most of us do things every day with this in mind … maybe we recycle, or turn down the water heater just a few degrees, or keep the air conditioning set a little (okay a lot) higher than we might like.

Maybe we even believe that a digital-only lifestyle or digital-only marketing campaign strategy is ultimately more sustainable than one that includes traditional media, so we opt for digital content over print collateral. But is digital really more sustainable than paper? The evidence says no.

“Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable material. As young trees grow they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere,” notes this article in Two Sides NA. “Furthermore, as a wood product, paper also continues to store carbon throughout its lifetime.”

The myth that paper is bad for the environment has is wrong, according to the article. In fact, paper is one of the few truly sustainable products.

“The paper industry has a number of respected certification schemes ensuring the paper you use has come from a sustainable forest source,” the article continues. “The two most recognizable certifications are the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and the Programmed for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™).”

Both of these aim for the same outcome — independently verified standards of responsible forest management to ensure the paper supply is sustainable.

The sustainability message is getting through; overall, consumers have a more favorable attitude about the use of print on paper versus the environmental impact of digital media. It might seem counterintuitive but going paperless will not help the forests, and actually will harm them. As we’ve reported before, the paper industry actually preserves, sustains and creates woodlands that might otherwise cease to exist.

Our digital lifestyles, meanwhile, are making an enormous digital footprint, so the myth that digital is somehow “greener” than paper is thoroughly debunked.

When you look at the facts behind the paper industry’s sustainability efforts, you realize that using paper can actually be good for the earth.

So give your customers a choice. For some things, print works far better than digital to build trusted relationships with your most important audiences.  If you bring sustainability to the table, there’s no reason not to consider print for your next important campaign.