Printing Impressions: Canopy’s latest guide for business ranks North American printers on sustainability performance

Originally published in Printing Impressions.

International environmental not-for-profit Canopy has released a report that profiles the environmental performance of North America’s largest printers at Sustainable Brands, a conference where major print customers are gathered. “The Blueline Report 2015: North American Printers: Sustainability, Transparency, Paper Sourcing and Forest Conservation” ranks major printers on a set of 29 key criteria and directs consumer brands to the sector’s leaders in environmental performance.

Twenty-five percent of the top 30 North American printers have now developed endangered forest commitments and are implementing them to stimulate the development of new eco-papers and help drive conservation in forest hotspots such as the Great Bear Rainforest. Leaders amongst the top performing printers identified in the report include TC Transcontinental and EarthColor.

“In six years of working concertedly with the North American print sector, we’ve seen a huge change in the environmental practices of these ‘gatekeepers’ to paper products,” said Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director of Canopy. “However, we’re also noticing the gap is widening between the top performers and those slow to move. Brands need to know where their printers land on the continuum of environmental performance and how to move them up the ladder of responsible practices. This report does that.”

Canopy’s 2015 Blueline Report:

  • Helps companies identify the best print partners with its ranking of North America’s largest printers,
  • Offers companies tools to engage their printers in meeting sustainability goals; and
  • Provides case studies of brands already working with their printers to advance sustainability goals.

Rankings in the analysis are also available in an online tool that will reflect progress and improvements in printers’ standards and practices. Printers are invited to update their profiles and rankings until September 30, 2015.

“If the medium is the message, then every business with a corporate sustainability policy needs their printed materials to reflect and uphold the values of their company,” commented Rycroft. “By avoiding controversial forest fiber in printed products, businesses reduce reputational risk, advance sustainability objectives and help threatened forest ecosystems.”

The report also highlights the increasingly vital role of transparency in assessing performance on environmental metrics. In the absence of detailed, public reporting, an accurate assessment of sustainability is next to impossible. The Blueline Report outlines Canopy’s metrics of reporting in the print sector, providing a useful tool for companies to evaluate their printer’s performance.

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