Printing industry associations must promote best practices

Environmental laws for printing companies


This may be one of the reasons why productivity is down in so many developed markets. Business owners have to spend many hours a week keeping up with their various responsibilities. Legal compliance is just one small part of all the other non-revenue generating activities we have to face. When it comes to environmental protection this is a very good thing, however lawmakers should be working to make implementation simple, not onerous. This won’t be easy because civil servants have a culture of their own, one that’s not even vaguely entrepreneurial. In fact initiative and imagination are positive anathema to them, so they cannot appreciate how time-consuming compliance with environmental legislation has become.

Graphic arts professionals can only comply. This makes it even more annoying to have to plough through umpteen pages of rules and regulations that get updated pretty much every month. Worse still it is deeply tedious to design business procedures that ensure compliance and yet are sufficiently flexible to change along with new rules or revocation of old ones.

We have no choice, but our industry associations could be doing much more to make it easier for members. There are plenty of ways to communicate regulatory changes, but the most obvious is to post the relevant laws online, along with a short explanation. This could explain the purpose of the legislation, how it applies and what counts as exempt. Updates can also be included in member communications.

When it comes to the environment, this problem of awareness and understanding is only going to get more complex. Print and publishing industry associations can do much to improve members’ knowledge levels and to promote best practices. If we had a bit more vim and vigour from our associations in the first place, perhaps the inundation of regulations might not seem so very overwhelming. So come on all of you, and you know who you are, get with it. Make your environmental guidance more than just lip service and give your members the support they need!

The founder members of the Verdigris Project include Agfa Graphics, Digital Dots, HP, Kodak, Ricoh, Splash PR, Unity Publishing whereas associate members comprise EFI, Fespa, Heidelberg, Mondi, Pragati Offset, Shimizu Printing and Xeikon. For more information log on to

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany