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Credit crunch creates green challenge for charitie

source: Printing Week 2009-04-03  

Print buyers in the charity sector are facing tough decisions in balancing cost-cutting with the need to maintain environmental credentials.

While print runs are down in some cases, environmental policies have largely remained resilient. This is despite the charity sector being hit by an increase from 3.32% in 2007/08 to 4.64% in 2008/09 in monthly donation cancellations, according to direct debit handler Rapidata.

However, Tim Norman, head of logistics at RSPB, is preparing to switch from Robert Horne's Revive 50:50 to its new Revive 25 brand as part of a cost-cutting initiative. But he said that RSPB's environmental credentials are as important as ever and constantly improving.

He told PrintWeek: "We're being more thoughtful about what we print and volumes have gone down, which in itself is good for the environment. Paper prices have risen dramatically, which has forced us to make changes, but we are looking to ensure that all of our printers are FSC certified."

He added that seven out of the eight printers on his roster, which includes Aberystwyth-based environmental company Cambrian Printers, have now achieved this standard.

Trees for Cities, an environmental charity, which recently chose Park Communications, to print its Trees for Cities Annual Report, insists on FSC and ISO 14001 accreditations from its print suppliers and uses Robert Horne's Revive 100 uncoated paper.

Michael Tiritas, communications assistant at Trees for Cities, said that companies should put in place green criteria when choosing printers.

He added: "We have always used recycled paper and always will. It's about practicing what we preach, but I think all businesses should factor in the environment when choosing printers and paper. There is financial pressure on companies, especially charities, but the cost is not significant enough to neglect these important world issues."

Chris Vickers, print manager at RSPCA said that the organisation's eco-credentials remain intact, although he has had to offer printers a wider choice of recycled paper suppliers to cut costs.