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  • Writer's picturePete Husband

Print sustainability – How to ensure your print and promotional products are sustainable.

What is print sustainability?

More and more it’s necessary for businesses to prove their eco credentials to gain work and many business owners and marketing teams are more conscious about the environmental impact of their activities.

Sustainable printing can allow you to still produce printed and promotional products in a sustainable manner and there are ways to reduce your carbon footprint and widen your reach.

Being sustainable can mean using recycled materials, sustainable paper solutions, reducing waste, environmentally friendly print processes and recycling unused products whenever possible.

Here at Acorn Creative Print, we understand the importance of environmental concerns and responsibilities, that why we offer a wide range of environmentally friendly print options and promotional goods. We can offer many options to fulfil all your print requirements in the most environmentally and sustainable way.

How to print sustainably

Paper remains one of the most recycled products across the globe. Forests used to create new paper products can be run in a fully sustainable way and recycled products reduce waste and minimise the impact on the planet.

The advances in print technology also ensure that our processes can be extremely eco friendly and yet retain high quality. You need to explore all your options based on your eco friendly goals.

Integrate print sustainability into your business strategy

Ensuring your business strategy, mission statement and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies include sustainable targets, allows you, your team and your suppliers to all understand what you want to achieve and work towards reaching these sustainability goals.

What type of printing is the most sustainable?

With so many eco-friendly options available, it can often be confusing as to the best way to achieve your sustainability goals. This is where a great print partner such as Acorn Creative Print come in. We work with customers to understand their environmental goals and then give them the options available and advise them on the best option for them.

Digital printing has been around for years and can significantly reduce ink waste, compared to more traditional litho printing. However, with advances in digital technology, it not only allows you to do small print runs effectively but is now also capable of larger scale print runs.

Carbon balanced printing is a newer concept, and this involves offsetting the carbon emissions of any print that you undertake.

Print processes should also be factored in when considering your sustainability needs and not just the products you use. This may be things such as how printers recycle, minimise waste, chemical usage, the ink composition (for example environmentally friendly vegetable-based inks), delivery methods and energy used. We work closely with our print colleagues to ensure they offer the best and most sustainable processes.

Carbon capture

The Carbon Capture programme mitigates the C02 emissions from the production and distribution of paper and materials. Money raised from Carbon Capture goes directly to the Woodland Trust to plant native woodland in the UK. Here at Acorn Creative Print, we partner with paper merchants to support the Carbon Capture programme.

The average amount of C02 created by the manufacturer and distribution of paper is calculated per tonne and when you place your print order you can elect to capture the carbon from that order. An additional small charge is then made to capture the carbon which will be paid to the Woodland Trust who will plant woodland around the UK. You can use the Woodland Carbon logo on any printed materials using carbon capture materials and also get a certificate declaring how many tonnes of C02 have been captured and square meters of new native woodland planted.

Recycled vs FSC vs offsetting

We can offer you our customers a wide range of recycled print / paper options as well as promotional goods options.

The alternative to using recycled paper is to print on FSC certified products. FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council. It’s an international organisation dedicated to improving responsible management of the world’s forests. It also ensures that local communities are respected, workers are paid properly and endangered habitats including plants and animals are protected. Meaning using only FSC products really will add to your Corporate Social Responsibility.

Offsetting can also be a good way to work towards your eco-friendly goals. You can offset the carbon emissions of products through different projects. There are a wide range of suppliers now that allow you choose how you offset our carbon footprint.

What are your sustainability objectives?

Objectives differ from company to company, and we can advise on the best way to achieve your goals.

For some businesses, it’s their carbon footprint that matters, for others its reducing emissions and for some people it’s reducing waste.

Often achieving sustainability goals are not one dimensional and we are used to working with customers that have complex sustainability needs. We can advise you on the right print solution to achieve any of these types of goals.

Balancing print sustainability with your operational needs

We understand that you need to find the right balance between operational needs of the business, your environmental footprint and your business strategic goals.

We’ve been working with clients and our print partners to pursue green printing techniques and environmentally friendly products for years.

We can help and advise you on how to balance all these factors and still purchase high quality print products and promotional goods.

If you want more information about print sustainability or our environmentally friendly print and promotional products, then email us at:, call me on 07920 107 997 or contact us via our contact form


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