Print boosted as study flags up internet's environmental flaws
By Helen Morris Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Print's environmental image has been given a boost this week with reports suggesting that the internet is not as green as previously thought.
Research by Harvard University physicist Alex Wissner-Gross found that internet searches generate around 0.2 grams of CO2.
As reported in The Sunday Times, search engines generate high levels of CO2 because of the way they operate, as the search goes through several competing servers.
Wissner-Gross also calculated the CO2 emissions caused by individual use of the internet, finding that the viewing of a web page generates around 0.02g of CO2 per second.
The report comes at a time when the print industry is bolstering its environmental credentials and challenging its public image.
Clare Taylor, principal at Clare Taylor Consulting, said that the pace of ‘greening up’ the printing industry has recently increased rapidly.
"It is great to see. The paper industry has been improving for a long while, and is a fantastic success story, with the reductions in energy, water, emissions and chemicals," she said.
Campaigns such as the National Association of Paper Merchants’ Two Sides initiative, which was launched last year, have aimed to bolster print and paper’s environmental image by dispelling green misconceptions.
The take-up of environmental accreditations has also increased and the PEFC reported that demand for chain of custody certification in 2008 was terrific.
Ross Bradshaw, director of PEFC UK, said: "We have witnessed a 300% rise in printers with chain of custody certification in just 12 months, from less than 70 printers in 2007, to a figure currently standing at 320."
Bradshaw added: "It is heartening to see that, even in these challenging economic times, demand for chain of custody certification shows no sign of slowing."
Many of these printers have opted to be certified not just to the PEFC standard, but also to the FSC’s certification system.
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