How Environmentally Friendly Is Print?

How Environmentally Friendly Is Print?

Over the last decade we have become much more aware of our impact on the planet. With discussions on how to be more sustainable becoming a part of daily life, businesses are also changing their long-term plans to measure sustainability. Like many fast-moving organisations, here at Webmart we are also constantly searching for sustainable solutions for our print and creative services.  

Sustainability in the print industry has come a long way in the last decade and choosing offline marketing materials such as a door drop, direct mail, partially-address mail or programmatic mail can now have very little environmental impact if carried out correctly. 


Online Marketing Isn’t Carbon-Free

When we think of email and online marketing, we often think there is no environmental cost attached, however the ICT industry is on course to generate greater carbon emissions than the automotive, aviation and energy industries (Computerworld).  

Email marketing has also long-since been viewed as the environmentally-friendly solution, however, over the course of its lifespan one 1mb email can emit 20g of Co2 (Energuide), whereas the production of 4 pages of paper with an envelope produces 25g (Data Services Inc). Incredibly, if every person in the UK sends 1 less email per day, the reduced Co2 emissions would be equivalent to 811,522 flights to Madrid (Prime Group). 

This isn’t to say online marketing is bad and offline is good, but the idea that by eliminating paper-based marketing will make your company environmentally-sound, is incorrect. In fact, the best outcome for marketing campaigns is to combine the two, especially as direct mail receives 4.4% more response rates on average, compared to email (DMA).  


Find A Sustainable Print & Postage Company

Webmart are currently creating a carbon calculator, which will outline the carbon footprint of all printed items. Clients can then decide whether they would like to offset the carbon through us.  

Eco-friendly printing isn’t complete without an environmentally-friendly postage solution. Choosing a service such as Enviromail, which calculates the carbon footprint of customers’ postage and offsets twice as much as is generated, is an ideal way to balance out your emissions. 


Stick With PEFC, FSC Or Recycled Paper

Deforestation is the second biggest source of greenhouse gasses after fossil fuel emissions and as a result, companies are encouraged to use materials taken from sustainable forests. The FSC and PEFC are both forest certification schemes, with some forest areas choosing to hold both types of certification. There are more than 50 schemes, however the PEFC and FSC are the most recognisable. Choosing FSC or PEFC approved paper means that it will be coming from a sustainably managed forest, where a new tree is planted for each one felled. 

Choosing recycled paper is another option to keep your printing eco-friendly. Currently 65% of direct mail in the UK comes from recycled resources (Saxoprint). 


The above are only a small number of green printing solutions, if you’d like tailored advice on eco-friendly printing, get in touch and one of our expert Webmarteers will be more than happy to help. 


Get in touch

Whether you have a question about our solutions, an enquiry, need some more information on anything – or just like yellow – the Webmart team are ready, locked and loaded to help.

Media Innovation Centre

13-15 Wedgwood Road
OX26 4UL

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