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Why Carbon Neutrality is Supporting Book Positivity

Why Carbon Neutrality is Supporting Book Positivity

By Sander Sondaal, Director Commercial Print Sales, Ricoh Graphic Communications, Ricoh Europe

I was interested to see another survey highlighting how readers prefer physical books to e-books or audiobooks.

This time renewable pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso found an overwhelming majority of 2,400 book readers of all ages in France, Germany, Great Britain, and America picked physical books for their look, feel, and smell.

It reported 65% of respondents chose physical books, versus 21% who opted for e-books and 14% audiobooks. It was also fascinating to see 70% of the youngest group (16 to 24 years) place physical books over e-books.

The positive outlook for physical books was something I explored recently here.

But what I found most intriguing about Stora Enso’s research was that the majority of readers (61%) said they will pay more for carbon neutral books – on average 5.7% of the retail price.

A majority also said they would buy from outlets that provided carbon neutral or carbon offset books.

It is worth noting that there are environmental consequences from using electronic devices to read. The internet uses a huge amount of electricity and physical infrastructure. And is as a result responsible for high and rising greenhouse gas emissions.

And then there is the e reader. The carbon footprint associated with production depends on location and technologies used. In America, the carbon footprint of a Kindle is approximately 168kg CO2 equivalent.

So how can we work towards greater carbon neutrality, and not just in book manufacturing?

Print Service Providers (PSPs) can make changes by:

  • Optimising their working practices through minimising energy consumption, reducing print waste, and reviewing recycling opportunities.
  • Making choices where possible to specify processes and products, including consumables and substrates, that reduce or neutralise their carbon emissions.
  • Offsetting when carbon emissions are unavoidable.

With Ricoh’s Carbon Balanced Production Printing service PSPs can neutralise the remaining emissions generated by Ricoh production printing systems with Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). These come from official clean energy projects that fall under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

PSPs also know that with Ricoh they have a technology partner that is committed to responsible sourcing and product design through the Comet Circle. Our printer re-manufacturing service uses fewer resources, energy and raw materials and, where possible, we support recycling, reusing, and reducing all in one process.

Our manufacturing facility operates a zero waste to landfill strategy and its production systems and software solutions are designed to reduce energy consumption, maximise production uptime and ensure optimum efficiency.

There are many options available to help PSPs take steps towards achieving carbon neutrality. Talk to Ricoh to discover more about how the team can help your operation introduce measures that will make a positive impact.


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