Is digital marketing greener than print?

Digital marketing has grown significantly over the past 10 years, with a digital marketing platform being created every hour it seems. But is it better for the environment?

Many of the environmental costs of going online are hidden from view. Nonetheless, with high energy use and low recycling rates, electronic communications are taking their toll in the planet.

Here are our top 10 facts that demonstrate print is actually greener than digital marketing:

1. Displaying a page for 3 minutes on a screen consumes more energy than a printed version

2. An electronic invoice sent digitally releases 242g of CO2, the equivalent of printing and posting 15 paper invoices

3. Just 18 % of electronic equipment is recycled compared to 70 % of paper and board

4. Paper can be recycled 7 times

5. Paper takes just 3 months to biodegrade and does not generate polluting waste

6. If the estimated amount (20-50 million tonnes) of yearly discarded electronic equipment (e- waste) was put into containers on a train, it would go once around the world

7. Sending 20 emails a day over a year emits as much CO2 a year as driving 1,000 km by car

8. With just 1.1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, the pulp, paper and print is one of the lowest industrial emitters

9. Estimates now place servers at between 2-3% of global energy use, roughly equivalent to the energy used by the aviation sector

10. Three to four trees are replanted tor every tree logged in managed forests. European Forests have actually grown by over 30% since 1950.

Two Sides, an initiative by companies from the Graphic Communications Supply Chain concludes that “from newspapers to magazines, from photocopies to leaflets, we believe Print and Paper cannot be beaten for sheer flexibility, impact and sustainability”.

In reality it doesn’t need to be a “either or” situation. There is a place for both printed and digital marketing. However, when it comes to making a decision based on environmental factors, the idea that online use is automatically greener just isn’t true.

ABOUT POSITIVE

At Positive we believe strongly that being environmentally responsible is as important as being technologically advanced. As a FSC certified company we only use paper that has come from responsibly managed and sustainable forests.

By investing in the latest technology we have been able to eliminate the use of developer fluid, minimise alcohol usage, reduce waste and improve efficiencies. For more information visit our environmental page.

We can offer our clients the reassurance that their printing project will be environmentally sound as well as of the highest quality. We provide lithographic printing, digital printing, direct mail and large format. All of our services are carried out in-house to enable tight quality control throughout the production cycle.

Call us today to discuss your next campaign on 020 8544 5500 or email hello@positiveimagesuk.com

Sources

  1. Antalis, UK- Did you know video?
  2. Greenpeace, The E Waste Problem
  3. World Resources Institute, 2013
  4. Cepi Sustainability Report, 2011
  5. BPIF, UK Printing Facts & Figures
  6. Two Sides
  7. Time Magazine, April 2014