Green, Eco, Sustainability, Nature and more…
Mike Horsten, Marketing Manager Mimaki Europe B.V.
It seems today everybody is either talking about or using one of these words, to make it clear to the other person that they care about the environment. Sadly enough it’s also used one too many times to hide the real issues and counter a bad customer impression, because if you are not green you are not part of the game. But the world is changing and there is a need to actually implement those changes. We need to become cleaner more efficient in the way we use our global resources.
I was asked once if we could develop green inks and we told the customer that our inks are very environmentally sound, but the customer wanted an actual green colored ink, not an ecofriendly one. For me, this clearly illustrated that most companies still don’t see the benefit of eco. We all want eco so much, that if you would put up a list on most wanted features, eco would be high up on the list. But if the question would be altered a bit to ask what would you pay for an ECO product, it would no longer be on top of the list but on the bottom. It is therefore our duty as suppliers to make the change possible for the market. The users are not willing to pay for the greener substrates and inks if the price is more than 20% of the conventional pricing. The pricing reduces green to a feeling and not yet a mandatory issue on a printer’s agenda. Mimaki understands this. With the economic situation in Europe every penny counts and the pressure of the market is demanding lower pricing and higher qualities at conventional standards. By introducing these new products to the market Mimaki is not only facilitating the change but also creating the change.
Luckily there are some early ECO adopting companies demanding greener output for their marketing output. Marks & Spencers, Nike, Lidl and others are only buying print from companies that can deliver proof that they are more sustainable and that they working with lower CO² footprints. The question again is how to proove these greener ways. Using FSC paper is a way but which inks are you putting on? Also the carbon footprint calculation is so complex that most small companies have no way to explain to their customers how much CO² was used in the production of their prints.
I believe this is not the way to go, we need to change our ways and production methods. We have to work more on our innersoul – adopt and apply the green ways from the heart. Look at your supply chain, your logistics and the way you produce your final products. Mimaki printers and inks are only a small part of the chain and even though we have made great enhancements to the printers, inks and energy consumption the rest of the chain is equally as important.
We therefore need to work together with the print service providers, ad agencies and print buyers to generate interest in these newer technologies. This renewed interest can lead the way forward in becoming used to the new ECO print ways. With Latex, water-based sublimation, UV-LED curing inks and with even newer technologies like (eco-friendly) solvent UV inks we can achieve better print results, higher print speeds and still work on a better world for you and your clients.
Coming to the Ecoprint show in Berlin is a great step in opening your mind to new products and solutions that are already available. Find out for yourself what new possibilities are there for your clients’ companies. With the adoption of these new technologies you are setting the first great step in the right direction of taking part in making our world better.
The right way is not the green way but the way of willingness to change. With change we can all become better and cleaner. And yes, greener.