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Exploring Existing Measures of the Environmental Impacts of Print: A Survey of Existing Practices

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Environmental pressures have been a growing issue for the printing industry, which has responded aggressively to these challenges. While many companies are trying to measure sustainability, there is much uncertainty as to how this should be done. The RIT Sustainable Print Systems Laboratory recently conducted a survey of companies to begin to characterize the state of sustainability practices and to better understand the specific needs and challenges of measuring the sustainability of print. The survey focused on self-reported measures of sustainability and the factors that might influence this measurement. From the analysis of the survey data, it is clear that there is a large amount of activity within the printing industry in regards to sustainable practices. However, it is also equally clear that much work remains to be done. Some of the findings include the need for a more consistent use and interpretation of the term “sustainability” within the industry; the discovery of a somewhat insular approach to sustainability metric development and use, with a high potential for inconsistency, which suggests that consumers are being given information from competing firms that is most likely being developed in an inconsistent manner; the need for a more detailed look at the processes and standards used to develop sustainability and environmental metrics in the printing industry.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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