GEP: How procurement can drive green printing policy

GEP outline how procurement teams can partner with sustainable print technology to help deliver on ESG goals

A whitepaper from GEP is outlining how procurement teams have an opportunity to drive the change in physical printing strategy and help realise business ESG goals. 

All organisations still have some need for physical printing, despite the growth in digital advertising and communications, but this has helped spur a change in printing strategy and use of materials. The whitepaper examines how businesses can adopt a reduce - reuse - renew approach, and use the procurement functions to aid the sustainability agenda of the organisation.

How procurement can help in sustainable printing policy


The GEP guidance suggests using a variety of strategies to realise the potential of green printing practices.  It includes bulk ordering, where transport and delivering charges are reduced, and as a result help to consolidate deliveries to lower the carbon footprint.  Other suggestions include using automation to avoid human errors, and having a clear print strategy to generate savings on media, time and energy.  

Reuse / Recycle 

This is identified as an easier part of the strategy, as making sure that equipment and consumable partners take back equipment or empty cartridges for demanufactured or refilled.  


Companies can use recycled paper in their printing plan, or go a step further an use carbon-balanced paper that uses fibres from sustainably managed forests or the carbon impacts of the paper production process have been measured and are offset by conservation of habitats and replanting.  There are also more modern and sustainable ink options available rather than traditional petroleum-based products, with examples like soy or algae based alternatives.

Best practice for printing sustainability 

The GEP whitepaper suggests a series of action points on how procurement can align with the business sustainability objectives with printing strategy.  

Work with procurement to support developing the most sustainable print strategies and sourcing the most sustainable suppliers and materials

• Choose carbon-balanced print suppliers that use eco-friendly products 

• Validate the certifications of your print supplier/s (e.g., Forest Stewardship Council, World Land  Trust, etc.)

• Ensure your supply base is using state-of-the-art technology and equipment to reduce energy usage and waste risk

• Minimise wastage of inhouse print production and paper usage

Read more on how procurement could be the key to net-zero supply chains and how CPOs  play a key role in profitability and sustainability.


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Other magazines that may be of interest - Supply Chain Magazine | Sustainability Magazine

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