Brilliant minds


At the Power of Print 2016 seminar in the history-steeped setting of Stationers’ Hall close to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London, an eclectic and fiercely provocative set of heavy-hitting speakers together created a fascinating picture of print and its value – present and future.

Welcoming a highest ever audience, BPIF CEO Charles Jarrold introduced the seminar in the context of this year of great change, including the evolution of print’s role in the multichannel media mix.

The science

The scientific foundation came from Baroness Susan Greenfield, CBE, member of the House of Lords, scientist, writer and broadcaster. The extraordinary Baroness explained the fundamental differences in the way our brains process information via a screen versus the printed page. Engagement, understanding and recall are all significantly higher from print.

The case for print

The case for print was reinforced by Tiffanie Darke, Founder of Method, News UK’s creative agency.  She reminded us that print carries an authority that nothing else can replicate, and secondly, if you want luxury, digital just doesn’t offer an alternative. She also praised print because it’s a proven “platform multiplier”. In other words, it is great when used in conjunction with other channels to enhance Return on Investment.

British advertising legend Dave Trott described creativity as one of the few remaining legal sources of competitive advantage. Dave’s short but very sharp presentation made it crystal clear that when it comes to creativity, simple is smart and complicated is stupid. And the way to succeed in advertising (print or otherwise) is to break established patterns. Stand out from the common herd, repositioning your competition at the same time.

His assertion that much of the messages we see are not even noticed, let alone forgotten, should be a wake-up call to all of us – the simple diagram below sums up his feelings about the process perfectly.


Combining creativity with astute use of data is maybe the key to a bright future for print. Rachel Aldighieri, Managing Director of the British Direct Marketing Association, showed how powerful the partnership can be. And talked about one-to-one-to millions to express the mass use of personalised and relevant messaging.

Not all plain sailing

There are though powerful tides that can hold print back. Kim Willis, Strategy Director of Cedar Communications, reminded us that marketing directors demand to know how effective their campaigns are. And for print, more than digital media, it is expensive to measure results. Further, there is increasing competition for marketing budgets, including from a growing array of “shiny new things” such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality.

The Keep Me Posted campaign to protect the rights of consumers to continue receiving printed communications was shared by The Royal Mail’s David Gold – including its reach beyond the UK into the EU and other countries.

The future is bright

So, what conclusions can we draw about the prospects for print? I have a lot of faith in Jonathon Porritt, the acclaimed environmentalist and writer, and co-founder of the Forum for the Future. Jonathon highlighted the print and pulp industry’s drive towards decarbonisation and the relatively small environmental footprint of print. In this era of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), it was good to hear that print can play a part in reducing the risks of runaway climate change and the disruption it would bring.

Back to Kim Willis of Cedar, and her parting thought, which was that in response to growing consumer immunity to the relentless surge of online marketing, brands are turning to the communications techniques that are more meaningful and cut through. This includes experiential marketing with for example live events. In this quest for impact and authenticity, Kim concluded, print surely has a major role to play.

Last word to Wayne Hemingway, MBE, founder of Red or Dead fashion brand. At the end of the breathless, captivating tale of his rise from “club kid” to design guru, he reflected on the central role of print in all our lives. From clothes to flooring to wallpaper. “Print is never going” he declared. And that I think is a fitting way to sum up a truly inspiring day.

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

Thank you Print Power, Two Sides, sponsors, participants and speakers – we all left feeling positive and energised.

The Green Advantage: how Digital printing on demand enables more sustainable printing

It allows short run lengths and quick turnaround printing.
It enables customised content that can be tailored to individual requirements.
It results in less waste and inventory and minimises your organisation’s carbon footprint.

Infographic - The Green Advantage

Infographic – The Green Advantage

108451 Environment Info Graphic 274x210mm_FINAL

Find out more about Ricoh’s Environmental solutions for Production Print


The green colour of money


Clare Taylor, Owner, Clare Taylor Consulting

Clare Taylor, Owner, Clare Taylor Consulting

How can being greener help your business?

Where savings can be made?

What can an environmental policy do for you?

Green policies and practices make sound business sense and help you to save money from your bottom line, raise your profile and equip yourself to compete against larger rivals. To make savings, the starting point is measuring to understand where your money goes.


A significant amount of energy is used for simply running a building full of people, and savings can be made that are independent of the amount of work going through. Good areas to look at are heating, particularly preventing heat losses or waste, cooling and lighting.

Older buildings can be very costly to heat, but simple measures such as draught proofing not only make them more comfortable but also cut your bills. Canny use of controls on boilers and air conditioning can also cut energy waste.

Businesses can save up to 15% of energy costs*


Waste costs more than just disposal costs – even if you’re being paid for paper recycling, it won’t cover what you’ve paid in purchase and processing costs. The best savings are therefore from prevention, and ways of managing workflows that help you deliver quality will also help you prevent waste.

For unavoidable waste, reuse or recycling is cheaper than paying for disposal. Suppliers may take back containers, there are many waste companies who offer recycling and Local Authorities offer a range of business waste recycling services. A waste audit will help, and some government bodies, as well as waste companies, offer this service.

Businesses can save as much as 25% from the total cost of waste**


Savings can be made on more than just process water used. There are opportunities for reducing domestic water consumption too, which, unless you have very few staff, can quickly pay for themselves.

Savings on water can be as much as 30%***

Policy and promotion

Your environmental policy is your mission statement – stating what your goals are and acting as a framework for action. The action plans behind it, results of measuring and evidence of progress can also be used as the basis for raising your profile: for example, entries for environmental awards.

Customers with environmental programmes of their own will often only add printers to shortlists or preferred customer lists if they have green credentials of their own. It’s not a guarantee of work, but an effective door opener. Being known for what you are doing also helps here and, particularly for companies whose work is mainly local, entering local green business awards can be a very effective way of achieving this.

Green _1_smallStrong environmental programmes will help you punch above your weight by reducing bottom line costs and by taking you above the crowd – but you have to work at shouting out what you are doing as well as at having something to shout about.

To find out more, read our Article – “Pruning costs by going green”

This is available from Ricoh Business Driver or, if you are not a member, request it here.


* Source: Carbon Trust Printing case study CTS094 “We estimate that the sector could cut its energy bills by 15% through basic energy saving measures.”

** Source: 2Degrees Sustainability Essentials: Zero Waste “The true cost of waste is often 3% to 4% of revenues, and it is generally possible to save around 25% of this.”

*** Source: WRAP Saving money through resource efficiency: Reducing water use “Water costs can be between 1 and 2% of a company’s turnover. Savings between 30 and 50% can be achieved by investing in no- and low-cost water reduction techniques and technologies.”

Overcoming the fear of the “big green monster”

Ricoh's environmental survey

Ricoh’s environmental survey

Ricoh completed a short environmental survey late last year with Print Services Providers (PSPs) and the findings were in line with what we hear frequently from our customers.

Many PSPs realise the importance of going green but find the whole subject of green print growing in complexity.  We know from talking to many printers that they struggle to know how best to start a green strategy. In particular they are not clear how best to provide more sustainable print services which improve both their own and their clients’ environmental position.

What print providers need to realise is that even the smallest steps to becoming green can be beneficial, and – with the right guidance – the imaginary “big green monster” does not have to be something to fear.

Start promoting green with your CMYK

Print is perhaps one of the most sustainable media of all, because most of it is paper based.  Paper is made from a renewable resource, easily recycled and reused. Therefore positioning print as working with other cross media communications should be on the agenda of many print providers.

Providers of digital printing often don’t realise that what they offer can support their own clients’ environmental reduction targets.  Digital presses have a small carbon footprint and trends in digital printing, such as short runs and print on demand, help to reduce print inventories and waste.  The ‘distribute and print’ model has reduced the transport costs associated with conventional print and this contributes to reducing the environmental impact of print and increasing profitability at the same time.

Ricoh env survey

Digital variable data printing has increased print’s timeliness and relevance, and jobs that have been traditionally printed to address a mass audience, such as product instruction manuals containing multiple languages for example, can be printed on demand and tailored to the specific language requirements of the local market, eliminating waste as a result.

Media choice is another area for opportunity and the Ricoh survey highlighted that over 60% of PSPs already recognise the importance of using both recycled and FSC/PEFC papers.  By expanding the range of sustainable papers on offer, print providers can help clients make more responsible media choices through the orders they place with them.

PSPs providers should also look to get more support from their suppliers to benefit from any new products or initiatives they offer to improve their environmental position.  Customers of Ricoh in Europe are starting to benefit from Ricoh’s Carbon Balanced Printing Programme, enabling them to offer carbon neutral digital printing and helping them reduce their impact on the environment.

Initiatives like the Ricoh Carbon Balanced Printing Programme provide the opportunity to take simple steps to a greener business and there are still opportunities for early adopters to use these type of programmes as a unique selling point in the market.

Simple steps

5 steps to sustainability heavenBy establishing greener production processes internally, PSPs can transform these best practices to demonstrate and promote a clearer perception of their environmental position with clients.

To assist in developing a move to an optimised print operation, we have created a print optimisation guide – available to customers participating in Ricoh Carbon Balanced Printing Programme.   This is used as a structured plan to introduce key improvements in printing processes, reduce CO2 emissions and minimise the impact of printing on the environment.

This process includes:

  • Implementing digital workflows to introduce activities such as web to print job submission or softproofing for clients.  If applicable, workflow could even help to balance jobs across print locations so that they are produced nearer the required destinations.
  • Reducing printer energy use by ganging-up jobs, minimising downtime to reduce periods where the printer is in standby mode.
  • Production process improvements including lean and green practices to improve resource efficiency, raw material use and costs.
  • Extending sustainable media choices including papers that conform to strict environmental standards and recycled papers that offer a lower carbon footprint.
  • Implementing reduce, reuse and recycling practices for printer supplies and raw materials, while advising or helping clients do the same.

Go green to be seen

Having gone through some of the processes to optimise their production, PSPs can then start telling their clients what they have done to reduce environmental impacts and what they can do for their clients to drive further reductions from future print work.

One good example of this is Crossprint, the first certified Carbon Balanced Printer with Ricoh in the UK.   Crossprint proactively promotes sustainable print services and provides clients with a wide choice of recycled paper options, bio inks on offset printed work. Work printed on their Ricoh Pro C751EX system is carbon neutral.  They are also one of few commercial printers we know that rely purely on green renewable energy from solar panels installed on their factory roof.  Crossprint uses these and many more initiatives to promote themselves as leaders and innovators in sustainable print.

The time is now

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

A PSP need not fear the mythical green monster.  Taking some simple steps to review your own environmental practices can quickly convert into business benefits and enhance the competitive advantages you offer to existing and prospective clients.

And at the same time, PSPs seeking further support from a partner like Ricoh can help gain the confidence to provide an educational, professional and clear perception of their environmental activities and work with their clients to get the most out of digital printing to improve their corporate social responsibility.

Good for printers. Good for their clients. Good for the planet.

For more insights from Ricoh see:

Request a copy of the Environmental survey 

Taking small steps towards sustainability

Laurel Brunner, The Verdigris Project

Laurel Brunner, The Verdigris Project

Last year at the EcoPrint show in Berlin, Ricoh initiated a brief survey into peoples’ attitudes to environment impact. Ricoh wanted to get a better idea of how PSPs feel about sustainability and green printing. The survey focus was production print and respondents represented 24 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Top of the list of important topics was the Energy Star rating. 64% of respondents believe having this international standard for energy efficient consumer products is critical or important. Awareness of the environmental impact of consumables is also high: 62% consider FSC/PEFC papers to be critical or important. For 60% of respondents, ISO 14001, the environmental management standard, is important or critical, and carbon neutral printing weighs in with 52%. It seems that for the majority of participants in the Ricoh survey sustainability matters to them and their businesses. Perhaps they understand the close relationship between cost control and reduced environmental impact, or maybe customers are encouraging PSPs to take the sustainability route.

Besides providing useful data on customer attitudes Ricoh’s short survey is also a handy tool for customer education, because to answer questions respondents must think about them. This all helps with market awareness. For topics such as food packaging safety or carbon neutral printing, answering questions is an easy starting point for wider understanding. Improving production efficiency or adopting standards such as FSC/PEFC papers or ISO 14001 can be the beginning of a wider environmental awareness, leading to tangible environmental impact reduction.

Ricoh’s first UK customer for its Carbon Balanced Printing (CBP) programme has attracted new business through its sustainability and new press investment. Crossprint has a new Ricoh C751 digital press to complement its litho kit and completed the Ricoh CBP programme as part of its sustainability policy. Digital print volumes doubled within four months of Crossprint installing the press and completing the programme. Crossprint also encourages the use of recycled papers; managing director Tim Sell says, “around 30% of all the paper we use is recycled and we actively encourage customers to switch.” PSPs can add real value to customer relationships in this way, working with clients to improve print’s environmental impact and demystify sustainability.

There should be more of this type of work from major vendors. For instance, we want to understand why PSPs value standards such as ISO 14001. Is it because of customer pressure or do PSPs understand how standards improve business performance? Perhaps PSPs should be learning more about their customers environmental needs with surveys of their own: is environmental performance a factor when buyers are looking for service providers? How can PSPs work with customers towards more sustainable printing as Crossprint has done? Only by answering questions such as these can we understand market needs for helping drive down environmental impact.

This article was commissioned by Ricoh to bring you independent opinions from industry experts. We hope you find our guest speaker’s views interesting and stimulating. We would appreciate your feedback.

For more information about Ricoh’s Environmental solutions and initiatives see:

Request a copy of the report

Ricoh PP Environmental printing survey Feb 2013

Time to be Lean, Mean and Green ?


Neil Falconer -Print Industry Strategy Consultant and MD of

Neil Falconer -Print Industry Strategy Consultant and MD of

In my regular conversations and consultancy work with SME print organisations, the green agenda has taken a back seat in the last few years due to the tough economic conditions and the fact that many of their customers have prioritised cost reduction ahead of sustainability. It appears that everybody still wants to be greener but unfortunately usually at someone else’s cost. The major issue for the print community is that customers are demanding green credentials such as recycled paper, accredited paper sources to broadcast their environmental concerns through their own marketing collateral. However in most cases apart from low-level activities like recycling office paper this is usually as far as their sustainability commitment goes. From interviews for numerous printer surveys we have conducted, the reality is that most customers do not want to pay for greener print products – they just see this as a cost of doing business and expect the printer to absorb any additional cost. Faced with this dilemma printers have a great opportunity to produce greener products and be more efficient without increasing their cost through a focus on lean manufacturing.

Most print providers are missing a major opportunity when it comes to improving their environmental credentials because they continually tell us that green initiatives always carry an additional cost burden. Printers can stay ahead of the environmental curve by using lean manufacturing techniques to significantly reduce resources, waste and the carbon footprint of their products during the manufacturing process and at the same time improve their profitability. This win-win opportunity for printers is a way of measuring improvements not only in business performance but also in calculating a reduction in their environmental impact. If you search on most print company websites there is very little emphasis or screen space given to environmental reference points other than displaying any accreditation badges like FSC, PEFC or ISO14001. Very few web sites contain an ongoing dialogue about the green initiatives the company is involved with, the targets they have set or the results that are being achieved. In today’s world of inbound marketing buyers conduct online research of prospective new suppliers before making an initial approach. As environmental credentials are still an important consideration, as long as they don’t come with a price tag, providing information on how a company is reducing its environmental impact can be very interesting and compelling to buyers. It can also be useful criteria for buyers to put into search engines; to filter out a lot of companies who are not actively marketing their commitment to green issues.

The origins of Lean Manufacturing can be traced back to the ford motor company in 1910, but print companies both large and small have taken advantage of its practical application largely through their trade associations in the last 20 years. It is therefore very surprising that more print companies do not actively use lean manufacturing processes and the results as a way of broadcasting how they are reducing their environmental impact. Results from the Vision in Print Lean Manufacturing Programme identify that lean programmes are often rolled out as a one off exercise to reduce cost and improve efficiency rather than being part of an ongoing continuous improvement process or related to sustainability. The reality is that over time commitment wanes, standards begin to slip and focus is directed elsewhere in the business. In a recent audit of one print company who had undergone a variety of lean initiatives three years ago it was alarming to see some of the bad practice that had crept in. Waste had increased significantly, the operational efficiency of the equipment had fallen dramatically and there were a lot of key performance indicators, which were not being monitored. A later refocus by the company on those lean initiatives gave them an opportunity to improve their efficiency and cost rates and at the same time use the information in their marketing materials as a way of demonstrating how they were reducing the company’s environmental impact.

The golden rule in lean manufacturing is print only what you need to minimise energy consumption, waste, inventory and transportation while at the same time reducing the manual touch points to a minimum. Digital printing and automated workflows are now critical in lean manufacturing because they make it possible to automate the processing of PDF files, proof online and print on demand to eliminate manual intervention, reduce job set ups and waste.

Areas like colour management, which do not initially appear to have a green or lean impact, can also make a valuable contribution. Calibrating and profiling the prepress environment to both digital and offset presses makes it possible to reduce set up waste and energy consumption, while ensuring jobs are right first time. It is clear that printers who are not focused on the opportunity to be lean, green and ultra efficient can easily become less competitive in the market. Printers tend to be greener than they think, largely because they are doing a lot of things from a cost reduction perspective rather than an environmental standpoint, either way they are both lean and green. Most printers regularly recycle printing plates, solvent, inks, paper, pallets; packaging materials and waste plastics but never record or calculate the green benefits in an integrated systematic approach.

Perhaps the most noticeable customer trend is the mix of different communication platforms used. Printers have the opportunity to process and output content in the most economical and sustainable way. This might be through offset for larger volumes, digital for on demand low run production or other electronic media like sms, email and online. Digital printing combined with inline finishing is a lean manufacturing process and represents a major opportunity to produce printed jobs in the most green, efficient and cost effective way.

  • It is the most efficient and cost effective way to reduce waste by printing only what is required.
  • It can reduce obsolescence and remove stock holding and inventory in warehouses.
  • Digital print is energy efficient and does not require plates or processing chemicals.
  • Digital print and inline finishing reduces waste, set up costs and energy consumption
  • Digital print integrates with the online world to produce the most sustainable and efficient marketing results.
  • Digital can print at different points in the supply chain therefore reducing transportation and logistics.

Similarly, efficient use of resources is another focus of a lean green print shop. Achieving the same outputs with lower inputs of raw materials, water and energy is a priority and over time these will provide tangible reductions in operating costs. Reducing your inputs through lean processes is a longer-term task, which requires commitment but will usually bring greater savings than waste reduction alone and provide consumers and clients with more environmentally friendly print products. There is plenty of advice available for print companies on lean manufacturing and reduction of environmental impact. Most OEM suppliers and regional print associations have useful information and can point you in the right direction for relevant training courses or consultancy advice.

This article was commissioned by Ricoh to bring you independent opinions from industry experts. We hope you find our guest speaker’s views interesting and stimulating. We would appreciate your feedback. 

For more information about Ricoh’s Environmental solutions and initiatives see:

Going carbon neutral at Ecoprint

Ricoh makes our presence at major events – like RWBO – carbon neutral

Ricoh has been at the forefront of environmentally responsible policy and action for many years;  and this has been recognised by the likes of Deloitte, the European Foundation for Quality Management, the FTSE4Good Index, and at the Davos World Economic Forum this year. If you’ll forgive the cliche, sustainability really is ‘part of our DNA’.

Ricoh invests heavily in renewable energy projects such as wind farms, authorised by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. These create carbon credits which we can then retire to offset, for example, our carbon footprint at drupa.

It’ll be no surprise that we make our presence at major events – from drupa in May 2012 to this month’s Ricoh Women’s British Open golf tournament – carbon neutral. At drupa this year, for example, we offset the carbon associated with the transport and use of our production printing devices as well as for the other areas of consumption such as lighting and catering on our stand.  Read more about this.

Going a step further

At EcoPrint 2012, the world’s first exhibition dedicated to sustainable printing, in Berlin later this month, we are taking our environmental approach a step further. For EcoPrint, it’s not just our own Co2 that Ricoh is offsetting, but that of our clients too. So visitors who register for EcoPrint with Ricoh are invited to provide details of their travel plans for EcoPrint. By knowing where they are travelling from, and which mode of transport they will use, our environmental specialists can calculate the amount of Co2 that their return journey will generate. And offset it by retiring credits from our carbon credit bank.

Carbon offsetting travel – a simple yet effective initiative

Carbon offsetting travel is the kind of simple initiative that clients naturally appreciate, while underlining Ricoh’s deep seated commitment to sustainability. For us, doing this is relatively straightforward, and any company that is serious about limiting its environmental impact at major events should be considering it. See you at EcoPrint to find out more about our unique approach to sustainable printing.

And don’t forget to register with Ricoh for a carbon neutral journey.

Achieving a carbon neutral drupa

Environmental zone at drupa

Trade shows like drupa can generate unavoidable waste and energy usage. With a stand as large as a football pitch (2000m²), and over 14 print engines , a 100m² LED wall, and 100 staff, reducing the environmental footprint of Ricoh’s presence was never going to be easy.

As a worldwide leader in Sustainability, Ricoh was determined  to minimise the impact on the environment by analysing ways to reduce carbon emissions throughout the 14 day show.  


Our approach

We decided from the outset that:

  • We would use 100% recycled media with a low carbon footprint wherever possible
  • We would also showcase other media including a non-tree based paper from Favini that has been qualified on our colour printers
  • All Ricoh’s printing activity would be analysed and the carbon emission calculated based on the number of sheets run through the printers
  • All electrical  energy usage for non printing activity would be tracked 
  • We would offset the carbon generated from unavoidable carbon emissions on the stand
  • Any paper waste generated at the show would be sent directly to a pulp and paper mill for immediate recycling after the event


Carbon Neutral Printing

Throughout the show we generated almost 300,000 pages of printed material.  This was mainly recycled media from ArjoWiggins Graphic, including the Cocoon and Cyclus brands, both of which have been tested and qualified on our systems, have recognised low carbon emissions and offer the type of qualities that our customers demand for their paper.

As well as using recycled paper, all Ricoh’s waste was transported to ArjoWiggins Graphic Greenfield Mill in France where it was turned into pulp and recycled.

In alignment with its focus on the environment, Ricoh also announced recently that its cut sheet digital colour press portfolio recently obtained certification by the International Association of the Deinking Industry (INGEDE) for the safe removal of toner from recovered paper during the paper recycling process.   This gives our customers the confidence that all output from their Ricoh colour printers can be safely recycled without the risk of contamination. 

The Results

When we calculated the total amount of C0₂generated from our own printing activity and energy usage on the stand, we found that we were 2.5% over our original estimate.

The final stage was to offset the unavoidable emissions with the acquisition of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) or carbon credits.  These credits are generated by Ricoh’s investment in wind energy projects authorised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This whole process of analysing, calculating and offsetting unavoidable emissions are all part of the BSI-approved Carbon Balanced Printing Programme, which is offered to customers through Ricoh’s Business Driver Programme™.  The Carbon Balanced Printing Programme, which was launched earlier this year and featured at drupa in our popular Environmental zone,  allows users of Ricoh production printers to offer a carbon-neutral  print service to their clients.

Lessons learned

With the experience we have gained from drupa 2012 we expect to be able to improve our sustainability performance still further at future events. 

For more information go to

Does it pay to be Green ?

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Is being Green a necessary evil – or an opportunity to gain competitive advantage? We find that, more and more, this is the key choice now facing Print Service Providers.

There is increased pressure from clients and the community to take more actions to reduce their carbon footprint. In fact, more and more large organisations are now introducing Sustainability Mandates for their Supply chain. Quite simply, if you don’t have a credible Sustainability Programme, you will not be able to bid for work from these organisations.

However, in a time of continued difficult economic conditions, it can be a challenge for Print Service Providers to justify any business initiative unless it improves their profitability. For this a long term solution is needed.

Getting Started

Carbon footprint reduction begins with calculating the emission factors associated with each process in production. This can be a complex task which requires specialist expertise. Ricoh, as one of the ‘Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World’ for eight years running, has a wealth of expertise in this area.

That’s why Ricoh has introduced our new Carbon Balanced Printing Programme. It features three key steps: analyzing current carbon emissions, optimising the carbon footprint and neutralising the remaining and unavoidable carbon emissions.

Step one is an in-depth analysis to determine the annual carbon emissions. This includes the measurement of carbon generated by Ricoh production systems taking into account servicing, paper used, energy consumed and delivery distances of supplies.

The next step is to review ways throughout the operation that sustainability can be improved. For example, our carbon calculator will advise the Print Service Provider about how much carbon is generated per print job. And they can then look at options to calculate greener production methods such as different types of recycled media.

Even when every possible measure has been taken to optimise the production process and minimise the environmental effects, there will still be unavoidable carbon emissions. Therefore the final step allows printers to neutralise the remaining emissions with Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). These CERs are obtained from official clean energy projects which come under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).

Turning Green into a competitive advantage

So how do you take advantage of your initiative to increase your profitability ?

First, these measures can create cost-savings. Carbon neutral operation is an effective way companies can truly monitor and control their emissions. By consuming less energy and fewer raw materials, operations save money. In fact, Ricoh’s factory in Telford has even turned their waste department from a cost-center to a profit center – by recycling their waste materials.

Second, savvy Print Service Providers are using their Green initiatives to create a competitive edge. Certification can be an important marketing advantage. Certifications such as ISO 14001, FSC and PEFC help to underpin the credibility of your Green initiatives, and confirm your long-term commitments. That’s why customers that commit to the Ricoh programme, and neutralise their unavoidable carbon emissions for the year, will receive certification that assures every printed page on a Ricoh production printing system has been carbon balanced. This allows them to give their clients assurances that the work was carried out in a responsible manner, and help to retain future work and win new business.

Finally, innovative Print Service Providers can deploy their own Green technologies and processes with their client base. For instance, Printing on Demand is another approach to reduce waste and energy. With this approach full colour items are printed in colour onto white paper without the need for pre-printed stationery, effectively printing just-in-time. As a result there is no need to hold onto large stocks of printed material, which can quickly become out of date and surplus to requirements. Print Service Providers can literally save their clients millions by eliminating pre-printed forms and reducing waste

Real-life examples

Although it’s still early days for our new Carbon Balanced Printing Programme, some innovative Providers are already taking advantage.

Take MultiCopy Leeuwarden, a Netherlands Operation with 80 locations. Bram Boekema, sums up the benefits for his business. “It will open up new markets for us, while offering customers unique ways to be more environmentally responsible with their printing.”

Or take Nextprint , a specialist in online print fulfillment via webshops – another Ricoh Netherlands customer. Giel van Boxtel, CTO says “We see an increasing demand from print buyers for carbon neutral printing. We are differentiating ourselves to offer a complete carbon neutral production process.”

So, the choice is yours: necessary evil?…or competitive advantage! For our part we see carbon balanced printing as a unique way to reduce environmental impact, attract new customers, and add more value to existing ones.