You have a great-looking design. You have a call to action that is sure to draw them in. You have a well vetted mailing list. But you are concerned about the environment and want to do what you can to lessen your impact. What is a well-meaning business owner with a killer marketing concept to do? Ask the best questions.
This concept is not new to professional sales people. If you want to get the bottom of what is important to someone, ask open-ended questions designed to draw out the information you need. There is no rule that prevents customers from using the same technique. The printer is trying to sell to you … make sure what he’s selling, including his environmental practices, is something you want to buy.
Identifying the source and content of your printer’s house stock should be one of your goals. In my last post, I talked about Post Consumer Waste (PCW) and other definitions of recycled paper. PCW is great for paper towels and packaging but is not a long-term viable solution for quality commercial printing paper. You can only recycle something so much before it’s completely deteriorated. Find the viable middle ground that allows you to get the killer marketing piece you need manufactured with “light green” techniques and materials.
One industry standard that you can look to for guidance is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
The Forest Stewardship Council was created to change the dialogue about and the practice of sustainable forestry worldwide. This impressive goal has in many ways been achieved, yet there is more work to be done. FSC sets forth principles, criteria, and standards that span economic, social, and environmental concerns. The FSC standards represent the world’s strongest system for guiding forest management toward sustainable outcomes. Like the forestry profession itself, the FSC system includes stakeholders with a diverse array of perspectives on what represents a well-managed and sustainable forest. While the discussion continues, the FSC standards for forest management have now been applied in over 57 countries around the world.
Ask your printer where their paper comes from. Ask about its recycled content. Ask about what they do to lessen their environmental impact. If your printer doesn’t know about what he’s trying to sell you, how can you trust what they recommend when you reveal that your environmental impact is important to you?