Printing and Forestry
The relationship between natural resources and manufacturing is multifaceted. Take gas companies, for example: there’s a longstanding notion that Big Oil is trying to “kill the electric car”. On a surface level, that makes a lot of sense; if there’s a lot of electric cars, they won’t have anyone to sell oil to, so it’s to their advantage to stop cars from going electric. Thinking about it a bit further though, you’ll understand this isn’t necessarily the case; “Big Oil” actually has a pretty substantial reason to invest in renewable technology. Oil is a finite resource, and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good; investing in renewable energy helps oil companies survive in the long-term.
The same is true for the relationship between printing and forestry. You might think that the companies that manufacture paper are going to destroy the forests, but nothing could be further from the truth; forests are essential to paper, so manufacturing companies are highly incentivized to find ways of harvesting trees sustainably. That has a few different ramifications for the forests of the world. One is that paper companies tend to prefer privately owned forest; that is to say, they like to buy trees from what are, essentially, tree farmers. That means they’re encouraging people who have trees on their land to keep their land forested, which encourages them to sustain and develop forests instead of clearing them for other purposes.
Paper companies are also committed to combating the illegal harvesting of wooded areas. There are a couple of reasons why this is to their advantage. The first is that paper companies are already under scrutiny, because people are worried about sustainable development. By committing to only obtaining fiber from legally harvested sources, they can boost their public image substantially. The second is bureaucratic and legal; getting illegal fiber might provoke legal challenges, and securing legal trees means fewer legal fees. Additionally, all of the lobbying the paper industry might conduct is within a legal framework; illegal harvesting, by definition, skirts these markets, so it makes efforts to change laws inconsequential.
Paper manufacturing companies also want to find ways to harvest and use fiber as efficiently as possible; that means they need to harvest less trees in order to make paper. Paper fibers are recycled and reused at a very high rate; over 55% of paper is reused in this way. That means half as many trees need to be cut down to get results. Technologies to harvest fiber from trees have also become more efficient as time goes on.
This all means that when you’re getting printed materials, you’re actually supporting sustainable forestry. At Print Pro, we do all types of work, from offset to digital printing; no matter what type of printing you have done, though, you can be sure it’s being done ethically.