In recent times we have had more time to connect with our immediate environment, our communities and our families, so it’s no surprise that environmental sustainability remains high on the list of priorities for everyone. It affects us all. Consumer pressure is growing, forcing companies and organisations to consider new technologies, materials and ideas to reduce our impact on the environment.
Paper manufacture and printing are inherently sustainable. According to Two Sides, an organisation that promotes the sustainability of print and paper, The European paper recycling rate is 72%, which is approaching the practical theoretical maximum recycling rate of 78%1. Conversely, digital waste is a growing concern along with energy consumption for digital media. Consumers value and trust printed materials and the printing industry has worked hard to be sustainable.
Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business at YM Group. Our most recent achievement, ISO 50001 for Energy Management, has powered our commitment to managing and reducing our energy use. Currently, York Mailing and Pindar’s electricity supply is made up of 22.9% from renewable sources – we aim to increase this. EV charging points have also been installed at York. We are currently trialling a carbon calculator which will allow the YM Group to provide more accurate data on its carbon footprint. This is as well as making sustainability a key consideration for investments and the new products we bring to market.
To help our customers continue to reduce their impact on the environment, we’ve come up with 7 Steps to Sustainable Print Marketing. This will help you to continue to evolve your print marketing to increase efficiency and improve sustainability.
1 – Achieve maximum printed product efficiency
Matching the printed product to the most efficient production method will help reduce costs and, crucially, paper waste. YM Group has a wide range of short grain web offset presses, providing customers with a vast choice of paper-efficient formats. Our experts will guide you to the optimum format for your magazine, catalogue or brochure, minimising paper waste and maximising your print production investment.
Digital printing is also an efficient production method which lets you produce exactly what you need. This variable printing process allows you to target more efficiently to improve results – an added bonus. Indeed, many of Lettershop’s personalised products are produced in a single production operation. This helps to reduce waste and allows you to only produce the mailing items are you using – no overs needed.
2 – Look at new product ideas
Wanting to reduce single use plastic, YM Group developed the Paper Wrap product – a simple but effective way of replacing plastic poly wrap with paper. This reduced the amount of plastic going to landfill for many customers and provided an added benefit of a personalised printed wrapper – a way of improving customer engagement.
With increased ecommerce, so there has been an explosion in packaging requirements. Indeed, the Government now asks packaging users and suppliers to meet requirements for recycling – driving a real need for a recyclable solution. We’ve met this need. Our latest packaging solution – ecoMLR – is not only recyclable with paper waste, but is also lighter, more capacious and stronger than competitor products.
3 – Offset the carbon impact of your paper
For some time, we’ve offered customers the opportunity to offset the carbon impact from the paper production of their campaign within the cost price of the paper. The additional sum is invested in World Land Trust projects which capture carbon and maintain ecologically important areas.
To demonstrate the item has been printed on Carbon Balanced Paper, a unique World Land Trust logo is supplied. The process is also certificated for use in your company’s environmental reporting and marketing. Read our full FAQs here
We’re seeing a number of customers make use of this service to reduce their impact on the environment. If you are interested, let us know.
4 – Know the chain of custody of your paper
Organisations like Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification® (PEFC) provide a system to allow customers to know exactly where their paper is created from. YM Group is one of the leading purchasers of paper in the United Kingdom. We work closely with a small number of trusted paper suppliers who have a full chain of custody in place, so we can evidence to our customers that their paper originates from sustainably managed forests.
As a Group, we are wholly committed to responsible and sustainable forest management. Each YM manufacturing business has attained the PEFC Chain of Custody Standard and the resulting certification. Our customers can be assured that the forest owners in our supply chain are certified to comply with the internally recognised sustainability benchmark.
We also source paper which has FSC certification. This provides our customers with another option, to choose paper that has been sourced in an environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable manner, reflecting our own Group values as well as those of our customers.
5 – Use the Sustainable Mail tariff to reduce postage costs
Royal Mail provide a more cost-effective postage tariff for customers who meet Sustainable Mail guidelines. You need to meet their criteria, which we can help you run through. It focuses on key areas:
- Data – must be checked for accuracy
- Materials – must have recycled content and be non-chlorinated
- Supplier – must meet environmental requirements
- Recyclability – printed item must be recyclable and show a recycled logo
Let us know if you’d like to benchmark your mailing against the Royal Mail’s Sustainable Mail requirements.
6 – Cleanse your data
Not sending mail to the wrong address or to those who are deceased will save money and reduce waste. YM Group have the data hygiene services to check your mailing file has been cleansed so you know the data is up to date. We’ve included our full list of cleansing and enhancing information here.
7 – Choose suppliers with the right accreditation
Sustainability has always been at the heart of our business. In November 2019, YM Group manufacturing sites were all awarded ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management – an outstanding achievement and a demonstration of YM Group’s commitment to managing and reducing energy usage. ISO 50001 Energy Management is in addition to all manufacturing sites having been certificated for many years to ISO 14001 Environmental Management and ISO 9001 Quality Management.
In addition, all four YM Group manufacturing sites have previously been awarded the British Print Industries Federation Seal of Excellence for the Environmental Management.
Use these ideas and services to continue to evolve your print marketing to reduce your impact on the environment. For more information about how we can help you, get in touch.
1 European Paper Recycling Council, Monitoring Report 2018