Print Management Insider Blog

Taking Trees Out Of The Paper Equation

Posted by West McDonald on Jun 4, 2015 8:57:25 AM
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We have many examples of consumer clout happening in our own industry.   As Managed Print and office equipment dealers, we have responded by developing recycling programs for cartridges and old devices.  Some more advanced programs also employ software solutions such as those offered by Print Audit  and other efficiency platforms to help our customers to print more responsibly.  Customers are using “green power” alright: The power of the almighty dollar.We’ve entered the age of the “conscientious consumer”.  
It seems that every time you open your browser there is another story in the news about the consumer taking action on environmental issues with nary a thought to 70’s-styled demonstrations or waving peace flags.   Here is an example: Just recently Keurig has been in the news because their new brewer does not allow customers to use “reusable” K-cups.   There was enough of a consumer uproar that Keurig execs publicly stated they were wrong.  Sales on the new units were down 23% and an article in the Washington Post said it was likely due to the consumer backlash.  Talk about power to the people.

Then there is the problem of paper.  Any way you shake it our paper habit is knocking down a lot of trees.  According toEcology.com, nearly 4 billion trees are harvested annually worldwide for the production of paper.  Only 16% of these trees come from tree farms leaving a pretty big problem if you like forests.  Many customers mitigate this fact by purchasing mixed recycled paper with a mix of 30% old and 70% new fibres.  That has an impact on sustaining our green leafy friends in the woods but still requires a good deal of  “timbre!” shouting.   What if you could use paper that affected almost ZERO trees? Thanks to the folks at Social Print Paper™ you now can.

So what is Social Print Paper™ all about? Social Print Paper™ produces a few types of treeless-options for office imaging.  They have Wheat Sheet Copy Paper, Sugar Sheet Coated/Uncoated, and Sugar Sheet Envelopes.  Wheat Sheet Copy Paper is made from wheat stocks that would otherwise be burned or discarded.  The Sugar Sheet products are made from the residue waste of sugar cane.  Their mandate is to be “social entrepreneurs” and they currently have revenues of $5 million plus per annum.  They seem to be off to a great start.

Here are the top 3 reasons you may want to have a look at this offering for your customers:

    1. Tree hugging is “in”:   In a 2014 report titled “The Holmes Report”, HAVAS PR states that conscientious consumerism in on the rise globally.  Using waste products to produce paper will ensure there are far more trees to hug.  A half million of them a year if Social Print Paper™ reaches their goal of selling 3,000 tonnes of paper a year.
    2. You need an extra-edge to jockey past the competition:  Customers that are willing to buy 30% recycled paper would certainly be interested in a 100% renewable paper.  Especially if they can get it at the same price and quality point for what they are already paying for recycled today.  The C-suite is interested in sustainability efforts that require little investment but will have big resonation results with their shareholders and customers.
    3. You like to make money:  Specialty products tend to have higher-margins at point of sale and can help to mitigate the “race to the bottom” we are currently experiencing with Cost Per Page (CPP) pricing.  Sustainable paper products can be used to sort customers who appreciate value over those that are price driven only.  There’s nothing wrong with making a margin on things everybody feels good about, so why not use sustainable paper to get some more?

What are your thoughts on non-paper paper?  Do you think it’s a great addition to a modern Managed Print program or just another log on the chopping block of fads?  We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Topics: business, Cost Per Page, CPP, environment, managed print, Managed Print Services, MPS, Office Equipment Dealers, print audit, Print Behavior, print management, print tracking, printers, printing, Printing, recycled paper, Revenue, sales, selling, Service, strategy, success

West McDonald

Written by West McDonald

West McDonald is Vice President of Business Development for Print Audit.

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