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Print media and the environment: how to choose sustainable print media companies

28 June 2023

It’s official: in the words of everyone’s favourite boy band Take That, print media is back for good.

If you’re considering launching a print media campaign for your organisation, you might be concerned about the impact on the environment.

Sustainability is more than just a buzzword. 66% of global consumers say they are willing to pay more for a sustainable brand, and 55% of young people in the UK would be more loyal to a brand that was reducing its carbon footprint.

It’s no wonder, then, that the modern consumer is 88% more likely to perceive a business positively if it supports environmental issues.

So, when it comes to choosing a print media company, sustainability is probably pretty high on your list of priorities. With that in mind, read on to discover how to choose sustainable print media companies…

Is print sustainable?

When it comes to sustainability, print has a pretty bad reputation, with many people believing that digital media is the more environmentally friendly option.

However, despite common misconceptions about the sustainability of print marketing, paper is an incredibly eco-friendly material. In fact, the paper, pulp, and print sectors are one of the lowest industrial emitters of greenhouse gasses, accounting for just 0.8% of emissions.

When you run a print media campaign, there are plenty of steps you can take to ensure your chosen print media agency doesn’t damage the environment. Here’s what to look out for:

4 things to look for in a sustainable print media company

1. Using clean data for increased sustainability

When it comes to running successful marketing campaigns, data is essential if you are going to understand who your customers are and how to target them.

However, there’s no denying that the impact of data has an environmental effect, which is why you should look for a print media company that takes a holistic and sustainable approach to data management.

By ensuring your data is clean and accurate, you can provide ethical, efficient, and highly targeted campaigns. Outdated, ‘dirty’ data can create a backlog, which is wasteful and has environmental repercussions.

Did you know that the incremental pollution for every gigabyte of data that moves through the internet is estimated to be one kilogram of CO2?

Every web page loaded and every video viewed contributes to the increased emissions of greenhouse gases – which is why it’s so important to work with a print media agency that will ensure your data is as clean, organised, and holistic as possible.

2. Precise targeting with clean data

A sustainable print media company knows the importance of targeted, carefully planned campaigns.

By using clean data to inform each decision and process, they can ensure that marketing materials and campaign collateral are printed where and when they are needed instead of printing large volumes of unnecessary paper.

Here at Join the Dots, for example, we use precise targeting to minimise waste, allowing us to send out campaigns to recipients whose interests and behaviours correlate with the product or service advertised.

Not only can you be confident that your messages are being seen by the right people at the right time, but you can also rest assured that your risk of waste is minimal, resulting in – you guessed it – sustainable campaigns and a positive impact on the planet.

3. Environmentally friendly processes

Another essential thing to look for when choosing a sustainable print media agency is the processes they have in place and how these help the environment.

For example, at Join the Dots, we carbon-balance all our print, use FSC-certified paper to ensure no forests are sacrificed for our marketing, and even offer vegetable ink to clients wanting to go the extra mile in terms of sustainability.

We also ensure all our electricity comes from certified renewable resources and offset 100% of our carbon emissions. In fact, the carbon we have offset is equivalent to 685 long-haul flights, 2,223,754 road miles, or 2,673 metres of sea ice saved.

We’ve also planted 12,061 trees in the last month, bringing a total of 21,000 trees in our forest. You can learn more about how we are helping the environment in our Environmental Impact Report.

4. Environmental certifications

Another way to check the sustainability of print media companies is to look at their certifications and accreditations.

There are many different sustainability certifications available for UK businesses, from an ISO 14001 environmental accreditation to B Corp status, with each certification showing an organisation has made significant efforts to be as sustainable as possible.

At Join the Dots, we are proud to be a B Corp and always ensure we put people and the planet first. Check out our B Corp Impact Report to discover all the sustainability efforts we’ve made so far and learn more about our goals to be an even better business for the planet in the future.

Ready to Join the Dots and make your print marketing sustainable?

We are truly passionate about fighting climate change and ensuring our campaigns don’t cost the Earth.

In an industry driven by multiple processes, we always ensure that a conscious effort is made to make our work as sustainable and ethical as possible.

How do we do it? By turning data into insight so you can find the audiences that matter and deliver campaigns the right way.

Our tailored and targeted approach means we might contact fewer people – but we believe powerful sustainable campaigns should be about quality rather than quantity.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make your print media sustainable with Join the Dots, contact us today to learn more about how you can help to make a difference.

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