As history will demonstrate, try and legislate change, and the process is often slow going at best. But when the call for change comes from the level of the consumer, change can be swift and sweeping.
After all, money talks. And when the livelihood of entire industries depends on the support of an increasingly well-informed and empowered consumer base, it’s just good business to listen and respond to the voice of the customer.
No more so has this been evident in the past few decades than when it comes to answering the call for earth-friendly products and processes that go beyond recycling and now include a start-to-finish life cycle approach to how goods and services are made, delivered and disposed of.
A Win-Win-Win Proposition
In working to meet the growing demand for products and processes that are both environmentally conscious and economically viable, the competitive advantage will go to those companies that strive to make better use of resources while ensuring the sustainability of our natural systems.
That’s a win-win-win proposition that just makes sense — for consumers, industry and the environment alike.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint without compromising quality or profits, the following are three areas to focus on.
- Partner with US-based suppliers. At Precision Color Graphics, the call for manufacturing everything domestically was nearly unanimous among our clients. Answering this call not only demonstrated to our customers how highly we value their input; it satisfied a long-held goal of ours to reestablish the printing industry here at home. Regardless of your industry, forging partnerships with domestic suppliers who share your customers’ earth-first outlook will not only demonstrate a similar level of commitment but will also go a long way toward reducing your company’s carbon footprint.
- Look for start-to-finish solutions. These days, it’s not enough to avoid the landfill. That’s because savvy consumers are demanding that manufactured products are produced using earth-friendly products and are 100 percent compostable at the end of their life cycle. In our industry, this means, among other things, using water- and soy-based inks and water-based adhesives, and replacing petro-based plastics with plant-based biopolymers. Similar solutions are coming to the marketplace everyday to meet the demands of a variety of industries, so take the time to research what’s out there for your company.
- Promote your earth-first initiatives. Consumers who are committed to green initiatives actively look for businesses that share their values, so it’s important that you make your sustainable business practices known. Seek industry-specific certification and include your earth-first messaging at every point of contact to address off-shore competition and establish your company as a truly sustainable operation and watch your business grow as a result.
Answering the Call: Finding Sustainable — and Profitable — Solutions
For the conscientious consumer committed to green initiatives, sustainability is a start-to-finish proposition. This means that equal attention must be given to what goes into bringing products and services to the market as to what happens long after the job is done.
If you’re looking to meet customer demand, ensure you remain competitive in the marketplace, and reduce your company’s carbon footprint as you work to safeguard our natural resources, it’s time to think beyond recycling.
In doing so, you’ll find yourself among the ranks of a growing list of companies who are working to trim costs even as they continue to search for innovative ways to meet the customer’s demand for earth-first products and services.
Dan Brulz is Vice President of Precision Color Graphics, a Wisconsin-based packaging company recognized as a pioneer in quality services and products for prepress, printing and packaging needs and a leader in compostable and sustainable packaging.
In 2012, Precision Color Graphics was awarded certification by the Biodegradable Products Institute for its patented and 100% compostable Ecoterah™ Multi-layer packaging. For additional information, contact Brulz at (414) 209-0808 or visit our website.