New research* from Arjowiggins Graphic - manufacturer of environmental paper solutions, shows that half of paper purchasers in corporate roles do not understand the range of recycled papers available to them.
The research shows that printers are in a strong position to influence purchasing decisions, with nearly one in four respondents relying on their dedicated printer for advice on which paper to buy.
Companies are more frequently looking to source supplies that match the requirements of their CSR policies, with 30% of respondents believing that sourcing sustainable material is the biggest environmental challenge facing their business in the next 2-3 years. This presents a commercial opportunity for printers, who can provide clients with the most up to date information about appropriate sustainable materials for use in corporate print jobs, such as annual reports, mailers and leaflets.
Printers are in an excellent position to develop a consultancy role with clients based on advice about which paper companies should be printing on, especially for marketing materials. Even people who believe that they have a very good understanding of recycled papers (25%) are likely to need guidance, for instance 30% of those respondents believe that recycled paper is of a poorer quality than non-recycled - an outdated view of the market.
Shannan Hodgson, Corporate Affairs Manager at Arjowiggins Graphic, explains: "The recession saw costs being cut across the board and in many fields this superseded commitment to procuring sustainable materials. Recently, however, we have seen customers return their focus to securing sustainable products and quality is now one of the top two most important factors when making purchasing decisions. Combating myths about recycled papers on quality will allow printers to recommend papers that meet the environmental credentials that are now so important to clients, as well as the specific requirements of the individual print job.
"Technological developments have enabled us to develop recycled papers with a quality that is comparable to virgin fibre stocks. This means that companies can now choose recycled papers that have the same appearance as less sustainable virgin fibre stocks for jobs where a clean, white aesthetic is required. Papers are also available that offer a natural recycled shade that indicates a strong link to the environment.
"Printers are in a very strong position commercially as they are unrivalled in their understanding of the use and suitability of different papers. This provides them with a great opportunity to show that they understand the requirements of their clients, can add value to their business, and help them meet sustainability objectives through recommending the right recycled papers."
To further showcase the benefits of using recycled papers Arjowiggins Graphic has launched the Environmental Benefits Statement (EBS), a unique and flexible tool that allows printers to communicate the environmental savings made by using recycled papers. The EBS can be adapted to fit with a wide range of print jobs, and offers an impactful way to display the exact amounts of, CO2, waste diverted from landfill, water, energy and wood saved on your print job.
For more information or for your own unique EBS, visit www.recycled-papers.co.uk
There is also a video about the EBS www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPs4skxDWnk
*Research was conducted on behalf of Arjowiggins Graphic by Future Thinking in December 2010 - January 2011. The sample size included 100 people responsible for paper purchasing who hold a CSR role and 1100 people responsible for paper purchasing who do not have a CSR role. Research was conducted through telephone interviews and a series of focus groups.