Paper Waste a Gold Mine for Publishers
Electronic publishing was a key driver of business growth and change during the 90s, but paper and printing remain omnipresent. They continue to play a central role in every aspect of business.
Unfortunately, as paper use grows, paper waste rises. A myopic perspective on the value of managing paper waste, and misconceptions about what constitutes recycling, further complicates matters.
Publishers in particular have failed to grasp the opportunity that managing paper waste could have on their business, and the economy as well. Reducing basis weights and publication trim sizes are steps in the right direction.
But a significant percentage of newsstand distribution winds up in landfills, rather than being recovered. Few publishers manage paper waste and recycling in a manner that maximizes value to shareholders and other significant stakeholders.
According to Professor Stuart Hart, director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at the Kenan Flagler School of Business, in Chapel Hill, N.C.: "Few executives realize that environmental opportunities might become a major source of revenue growth. Greening has been framed in terms of risk reduction, re-engineering, or cost cutting. Rarely is greening linked to strategy or technology development. As a result, most companies fail to recognize opportunities of potentially staggering proportions."
What do you think it means to recycle? And how does your company see paper waste? Is it garbage or a gold mine?
Leading companies understand that waste reduction and fiber recovery are important, but that more is required. It is also essential to close the loop on recycling, and purchase products that contain recycled content.
Waste paper recovery reduces the need for virgin materials. Regularly purchasing paper products with recycled content creates a healthy market for fiber recovery and recycling services. It also sends a powerful, positive message to employees, investors, environmental activists, and other stakeholders.
The British Broadcasting Company sets a good example. For the BBC, managing paper use and recycling are seen as important ways to reduce costs, increase shareholder value, and improve stakeholder relations.