Energy consumption of low priority to printers, research suggests
By Hannah Jordan Wednesday, 15 August 2012
A survey of 100 senior UK and US print industry figures reveals just 6% to 8% consider carbon footprint and energy consumption important aspects of sustainability.
The Printing Insights Report, carried out in July for global print firm Trelleborg Printing Solutions, revealed 44% of respondents felt CSR to be the most important aspect of sustainability for their business while 38% said waste reduction was a priority.
However carbon footprint and energy consumption were considered important by just 6% and 8% respectively.
Trelleborg managing director Thomas Linkenheil: "It is clear that the industry doesn’t appear to have a full appreciation of all the elements of sustainability that they can influence through their processes and procurement.
"Energy consumption and carbon footprint are becoming increasingly important in modern printing plants and by simply reassessing operational processes or chosen products, managers can make a huge difference to their carbon footprint and energy consumption."
But according to BPIF chief executive Kathy Woodward the majority of UK printers were extremely concerned about all areas of sustainability.
"I think this is simply a question of terminology – carbon footprint is not a term that is universally understood. I don’t come across any printers or manufacturers who are not concerned about this. Carbon footprint is a combination of areas such as energy consumption and waste reduction that the industry is definitely concerned with."
The survey, which formed the basis of the Printing Insights research-led white paper, looked at issues affecting UK and US print firm owners, managing directors, production directors and pressroom managers.
Figures contained in the report showed that quality control and productivity were ranked more importantly than cost at 68% and 60% respectively ranking them vital, while 50% considered cost a vital element of their business operations.
The report also highlighted a "high proportion" of respondents that said they had taken no action to reduce consumable product downtime in the last 12 months.
Although 40% had increased planned maintenance, one in five said they had done nothing to rectify the problem. The report said the figure was "a worrying statistic".
Woodward said that not investing in consumables and equipment was a short term view.
"There has been a crisis quarter where people have been hit by a reduction in sales which puts pressure on the whole operation. There are some that neglect machine maintenance and consumable replacement but that is short-termist."
"They may be short of cash but if they don’t invest in improving their equipment they are going to run into greater problems going forward."
However Woodward said she believed the UK print industry would see a pick-up in sales in the next quarter.
She added: "I think this will translate into continual performance improvement for many companies," she said. "We are already seeing more of this so I think the trend is turning a corner."
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