Unless you’ve been hiding out in another galaxy, it must be obvious to all of us by now that we are living through the biggest challenge facing humanity, namely climate change and the impact we humans are having on global warming.

What the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow highlighted is how difficult it is for world leaders to agree and act on this matter. So it’s vital that as individuals and the business community, we come together to both limit and ultimately reduce our collective carbon emissions.

Northend, a full-service print business serving a national customer base that’s been operating in the city since 1889, is part of a dynamic printing sector that has been championing this need to work together to reduce the impact on the environment.

When it comes to sustainability of print and paper it’s important to separate the facts from the myths. The European paper industry is a world leader when it comes to sustainably sourced raw materials, renewable energy and recycling rates.

In 2020, a total of 56 million tonnes of paper was collected and recycled – a recycling rate of 74 per cent, which is approaching the estimated practical maximum of 78 per cent. Paper cannot be recycled indefinitely as the fibres get too short and worn out to be useful in creating a new sheet of paper. The cycle must be constantly refilled with new, strong virgin fibres from sustainably managed forests.

And that’s a key point – forests, when managed sustainably, play an indispensable role in climate and biodiversity protection.

Between 2005 and 2020, European forests grew by more than 36,000 square miles – that’s an area bigger than Scotland*. Several schemes exist to ensure forests are sustainably managed, with the most recognised one for us in the UK being the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The objectives of FSC (and other schemes) are to ensure that forests are certified to credible, independent verified standards of responsible forest management. This includes having a robust chain of custody in place to track wood and wood fibre production through every step of the supply chain, from forest to end-user including us at Northend.

As we are a part of the FCS chain of custody, printed matter originating from the factory can carry the FSC logo if our customers wish to add it to their brand credentials.

‘Go Paperless’, ‘Go Green’ and ‘Save Trees’ are common messages as many organisations encourage their customers to switch to electronic transactions and communications. However, we believe print cannot be beaten for attractiveness, impact and sustainability, from newspapers to magazines, photocopies to leaflets and letters to boxes.

To find out more about how to use print effectively and sustainably as part of your marketing mix, give us a call on 0114 250 0331 and share in the FSC chain of custody so that your customers know your brand is using paper from sustainably managed forests.