The hidden costs of sustainability inaction on print businesses today
When it comes to sustainability, we’re all part of a generation with a real opportunity to accelerate impactful change. As author and sustainability advocate, Robert Swan, puts it: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.1” For businesses, it’s time to rise to the challenge.
It’s a powerful statistic that 73% of business leaders identify “becoming a truly sustainable and responsible business” as a top priority for their organization over the next three years,2 showing that it’s no longer a niche nice-to-have but a mainstream expectation . However, although leaders are starting to take action, the scale of the challenge still elicits the need to act wiser, faster, and more responsibly. As well as the ethical and planetary cost of inaction, there’s a financial one too.
For print businesses, the danger of falling behind on sustainability ambitions can’t be overstated—and shouldn’t be overlooked. One in two global consumers rank a brand’s sustainability as a top five value driver in purchase decisions.3 They’re becoming more skeptical, too: Print businesses unable to substantiate their sustainability credentials will lose customers, and therefore profit and growth.
Added to this, the regulatory demands on print businesses are growing. Fines and sanctions now await companies who don’t take action in the right way. To meet compliance obligations there’s a need for supply chain transparency, upda ted product specifications (for example using eco labels, recycled content, and reduced packaging), and innovative new solutions such as recycling programs, sustainable packaging, or using ocean-bound plastics.
Your reputation is everything
It’s no secret that Gen Z and millennials factor sustainability into every decision they make. For them, it’s a lifestyle. Dubbed the ‘Thunberg Generation’4, they’re savvy about who they buy from—most will choose a sustainable retailer over an unsustainable one5 —and ethically-driven when it comes to career choice. A quarter of millennials say they’d never work for businesses that profit from unsustainable practices.6 If print businesses want to grow their customer base and attract and retain skilled workers, they must focus on bolstering their sustainability reputation.
Unsustainable practices can also affect workplace culture and safety. Choosing a water-based ink avoids the hazardous components associated with other inks, that might affect the health of operators. HP Latex Inks, for example, consist of up to 65% water7 and are designed to avoid the hazards associated with other technologies . They contain no Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs)8, are non-flammable and non-combustible9, and don’t require personal protective equipment (PPE) to handle.
Print businesses can’t afford the reputational blows that come with sustainability inaction. Businesses should be built to last; this means investing in responsible materials, technologies, and practices that’ll see you thrive in the future.
HP Latex can help fuel your environmental journey by leading with environmental certifications10. We can help you find and use PVC alternatives using the HP Media Locator and HP Configuration Center. Automated maintenance keeps your printers running—even overnight so you can take advantage of cost-effective energy —to help you remove gaps in your schedule. And our HP Latex Ink Technology guarantees color consistency so you can avoid reprints and waste–so you can say yes to more print jobs now and in the future.
HP Latex solutions can help remedy many of the hidden costs of being unsustainable. Using our hardware and ink s with third-party certification, and our end-of-life recycling services, you can boost your reputation to win new business, recruit new talent, and thrive in the future.
8 HP Latex Inks were tested for Hazardous Air Pollutants, as defined in the Clean Air Act, per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Method 311 (testing conducted in 2013) and none were detected.
9 Water-based HP Latex Inks are not classified as flammable or combustible liquids under the USDOT or international transportation regulations. Testing per the Pensky-Martens Closed Cup method demonstrated flash point greater than 110° C (230° F).
10 Based on internal competitive analysis with public information. Applicable to HP Latex technology compared to competitive large format printing alternatives using solvent and UV technologies. See individual product data sheets for more information at hp.com/go/latex.
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