The magazine printing process presents many opportunities for reducing a publisher’s carbon footprint. From procuring raw materials to limiting the distance between the mill, printer, and consumer, sustainable magazine production is a matter of optimizing your options.
Sustainability from the start
Your publication’s carbon footprint is the extent to which your publishing activity emits the greenhouse gasses (GHG) that cause global warming. By reducing the GHG emissions caused by magazine production, you will reduce your publication’s carbon footprint.
What’s the best way to “go green”? Choose sustainable materials and processes from the start. Much of the publishing process happens before the magazine publisher enters the picture. How is wood procured, pulped, and made into paper? How far does your paper travel from mill to printer? Thankfully, much progress has been made to protect our forests and sustainably produce paper.
It might be tempting to cut paper out altogether and go online, but while an online-only approach saves paper, e-readers and tablets aren’t necessarily more environmentally friendly.
Never fear. There are tangible steps publishers can take to make a difference and reduce their carbon footprints:
- Invest in renewable energy sources for your warehouses and office spaces.
- Choose paper suppliers committed to minimizing their environmental impact. Look for those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainability Forest Initiative (SFI).
- Consider using recycled paper. Even 30% post-consumer recycled paper makes a significant difference. Twenty cases of it can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) by one ton, and just six cases of 100% recycled paper reduce CO2 by the same amount.
- Make sustainable shipping choices. Use systems like co-mailing or distributed printing, or swap wooden pallets for recycled plastic pallets. A single recycled palette reduces CO2 by 830 lbs.
- Consider smaller print runs or a print-on-demand service. Avoid the hassle and waste of storing extra stock, and if you do have excess, recycle it.
Adopting sustainable practices can feel overwhelming. And it’s true — some of these changes require continuous and concerted effort. But with research, commitment, and faithful partnerships, your publication can contribute to a cleaner world.
Choose a publishing and printing partner that shares your commitment to sustainable magazine production. At Sheridan, we operate all facilities with a focus on sustainability and continually monitor systems and processes to find opportunities to improve. At every step of the printing process, we meet federal, state, and local compliance standards. And we lead our industry in sustainability efforts by:
- Reusing and recycling all possible materials and energy resources
- Eliminating over-consumption and minimizing waste
- Inspiring employees to live sustainably in their personal and professional lives
Partner with us to adopt more environmentally friendly processes.
Contact your Sheridan representative or visit our contact page to ask how we can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.