Green Matters

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OPI focuses on sustainability, the environment and the latest news shaping the green agenda within the office products industry.
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Lexmark celebrates Earth Month
Lexmark International was at the forefront of environmental campaigning during Earth Month in April.
Throughout the month, Lexmark offered its reseller channel in the UK up to 50 percent discount on a large range of printers with duplex capabilities.

The Earth Day initiative, which started on 22 April 1970 in the US, is now observed globally and is dedicated to education on Earth protection around the globe. It has been supported by Lexmark Europe since 2003. "Paper waste has a dramatic impact on the environment – and naturally, our industry must shoulder some of this responsibility," explained Raj Meghani,head of marketing PS&SD at Lexmark. "We take our environmental obligations seriously, and want to help our customers take advantage of effective printing solutions while actually printing less and cutting down on waste."

She added: "We’re committed to helping the environment through people, products and promoting responsible printing. Our donation to the Rainforest Foundation UK reflects this approach and proves that our resellers and customers can make a difference, too."

The company says that Earth Month forms part of Lexmark’s ongoing commitment to educate users to reduce paper waste. This initiative is aimed at helping its resellers persuade end-users to print less – through changing attitudes and printing best practices such as double-sided printing.

The company is also encouraging its clients to support its initiatives. For instance, leading electrical retailer DSG international (DSGi) has announced that it has saved an estimated four million pieces of paper and reduced its carbon footprint through its environmental work with Lexmark UK.

At its own ‘Green Week’ event, an environmental staff engagement initiative held at DSGi’s offices in Hemel Hempstead, UK, the retailer reported that it has saved approximately 93 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. This was "thanks to Lexmark’s power save solution", which reduces the energy a printer uses after 15 minutes on standby.

Lexmark was on hand to offer advice to DSGi employees at the event on how to further reduce the impact of their printing. The company has been working with DSGi since the implementation of the Lexmark Managed Print Service, covering nearly 5,000 printers and multifunctional devices in July 2006. Clare Brine, corporate responsibility manager at DSGi, said: "We are extremely supportive of suppliers that share our dedication to protecting the environment. In addition to vastly reducing the amount of paper and energy we consume, Lexmark has also helped us cut the quantity of toner we use by an estimated 2,500 cartridges per year. We have also signed up to Lexmark’s toner recycling programme which ensures that every cartridge we consume is reused."

Lexmark’s Meghani added: "It’s encouraging that DSGi is leading this initiative, and that staff are receptive to printing less. DSGi’s ‘Green Week’ has helped us educate employees about simple and effective ways to reduce their impact, such as using duplex printing or only printing in colour when absolutely necessary. We’re encouraging them to consider printing less in their everyday activity."

Depot launches new green brand
Office Depot has launched a new line of environmentally friendly products in the US under the brand name Office Depot Green.

The company says it is "the first retailer in the office supply industry to introduce a dedicated green brand with consistent and simple-to-identify packaging for consumers".

The brand will cover a variety of product groups including paper, notebooks, folders, imaging supplies and cleaning products.

Chuck Rubin, president of Office Depot’s North American retail division, commented: "The introduction of a new Office Depot Green line builds upon our corporate commitment to increasingly buy green, be green and sell green. It provides our customers with greater access to products that can save them money while also helping the planet."

Pentel preaches Recycology
Pentel has embarked on a major campaign to support Recycology, the company’s new brand encompassing filing and presentation products as well as writing instruments, all made using a minimum of 50 percent recycled content.

The campaign includes national press advertising in two of the highest circulation daily newspapers, plus Tube car panel advertising on the London Underground. Wendy Vickery, Pentel marketing manager, says: "The Recycology brand continues to grow from strength to strength since we first introduced our soft plastics range in autumn 2006. Recently, we’ve launched Recycology writing instruments, including some of our most popular, tried-and-trusted products such as rollerballs, ballpens, markers, auto pencils and correction tapes.

"Having secured the enthusiasm and support of our customers throughout the industry it’s now time to embark on phase two of our launch strategy: Communicating the Recycology brand values to end-users."

The two-stage campaign launched at the end of April with UK national press advertisements in The Daily Mail and The Times. Stage one of the schedule runs until early June, while stage two commences at the end of August (in time for the UK’s Bank Holiday weekend) and runs into the beginning of October.

In addition to national press advertising, Pentel will run a two-week Tube car panel colour advertising campaign commencing on 25 August and yielding 75 percent coverage of the London Underground audience.

The company hopes its message "Are you a Recycologist-, accompanied by a series of clever imagery will invite end-users to consider the values of the Recycology brand.

"We’ve dispensed with the ‘gloom and doom’ messages that seem to accompany much of the environmental awareness communications currently directed towards end-users and consumers. And we’re not claiming to offer a quick-fix to the most serious challenge in the history of the human race – global warming. But, in a straightforward, informative way we’re introducing consumers to the Recycology range which helps them take a step in the right direction. There’s nothing po-faced or hectoring about the campaign, we hope instead to put a smile on the faces of those who’ll see our advertising," says Vickery.

The campaign will reach an audience of around 20 million, and will be complemented by sampling campaigns, end-user research and a Recycology movie, available to customers for online communications activity.

"It is not only in the UK that Recycology will be supported with a strong communications campaign. Our colleagues in continental Europe are also preparing to launch key activities to drive awareness and demand throughout the continent.

"Recycology is a major new brand for Pentel across the globe and we are totally committed to supporting its ongoing development."

Bullpen recycling green ideas
Bullpen Marketing, a US marketing firm specialising in promotional products strategy and a wide range of marketing services, announced the addition of environmentally friendly Promo Green promotional products to its inventory. Green items include recycled and organic bags, totes, pens, clothing, journals, postcards, USB drives, solar and water-powered calculators, battery-less flashlights, organic teas and food gifts, and many other items.

"This is the first extensive green promotional collection being offered out of Houston (Texas). By offering affordable green choices, more companies will embrace earth-friendly alternatives in their promotional marketing campaigns," commented Colin Hageney, president of Bullpen Marketing. "As more companies move towards green office supplies and recycling, it’s important for them to have other green options."

Bullpen Marketing offers many varieties of Promo Green products, including pens with 1.2 miles of writing ink, postcards that can be planted to grow wildflowers, and USB drives made from recycled materials. These eco-friendly products are made from materials such as recycled yogurt containers, plastic PVC pipes and water bottles. They provide equal or higher levels of style and durability as old-fashioned, not-so-green products.

"Organisations can now demonstrate their commitment to a cleaner, safer environment while putting their name or logo in front of their clients, partners and employees," said Hageney.

Esselte has the Earth in Mind
"An effective CSR strategy must fit into the core business of a company," emphasises Dr Annette Kleinfeld, one of the first scholars and consultants in Germany to focus on the areas of business ethics, values and integrity management.

This is precisely what Esselte, which also owns the Leitz brand, has taken to heart. In addition to its responsibility for people and employees, the issue of environmental protection is a significant part of the product development process for the leading manufacturer of office supplies.

According to calculations by leading environmental organisations, per capita consumption of paper in Germany has increased by 700 percent over the last 55 years. Today Germany is ranked number four in overall paper consumption worldwide.

For the time being, the paperless office remains an illusion. In light of this constantly increasing paper consumption, Esselte has taken up the cause of making a significant contribution towards conserving valuable raw materials. The focus is on high quality standards and the use of recycled materials wherever possible.

"Our ultimate credo is product longevity," explains Barry McCool, vice president of marketing at Esselte Europe. "Rather than recycling things," he adds, "it is better not to throw them away in the first place."

The Leitz binder mechanism, for example, has been tested around 12,000 times to make sure that the product lifespan is longer than any other binder on the market.

Most Esselte products contain paper and cardboard and are made from 100 percent recycled materials. "This alone saves around one million trees each year," says McCool.

Plastic binders and folders are made with polypropylene, which can be disposed of more easily than PVC. Basically, the goal is to make the products as recyclable or reusable as possible.

This is why Esselte, wherever possible, avoids using complex material compounds. Many of its products have been awarded the German ‘Blue Angel’ environmental label. It also labels its ecologically efficient products in catalogues with its very own ‘earth in mind’ symbol.

"No matter whether it’s in development, production or sales, environmental impact is at the heart of our business," explains McCool. "Our basic principle is to limit all conceivable damage to a bare minimum."

Xerox launches ‘green’ calculator
Xerox has unveiled the Sustainability Calculator, a software tool that will enable companies to asses the environmental impact of their printing and copying devices.

Users feed in information about their print and copy fleet and print volume, and the tool assesses the total environmental footprint in terms of energy used, greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste.

The tool can then be used to devise scenarios which help to reduce the environmental impact and overall costs of printing and copying.

"The same people who are environmentally conscious at home are starting to bring this awareness to work, but in many cases, they didn’t know where to start," commented John Kelly, president of Xerox Global Services in North America.
"We designed the Sustainability Calculator to be an effective environmental assessment tool. It provides customers with actionable recommendations to help them achieve their ‘green’ objectives and in doing so realise cost savings and efficiency gains that come with an optimised office environment."

The Sustainability Calculator employs proprietary algorithms and document assessment research to deliver data about a company’s entire fleet of office products, from printers to multifunction devices and copiers, regardless of the equipment supplier. The Sustainability Calculator can also provide information on the impact of printing on two sides or using different types of papers. Preliminary testing of the calculator proves that customers realise both environmental benefits and cost savings.

After an initial analysis that generates a detailed sustainability evaluation of their operations, Xerox partners with customers to create an energy-saving office environment. Some of the changes can be as simple as moving devices to different locations or replacing personal and single-function products with multifunction products. The calculator can also detect opportunities for customers to become smarter paper users and to reduce waste. It provides information on the impact of duplex printing or using different paper stocks.

"The goal for the Xerox Sustainability Calculator is to point customers in the right direction, to identify opportunities where the reduced impact to the environment can be balanced with boosting the bottom line," said Patricia Calkins, vice president of Environment, Health and Safety at Xerox. "We coupled our long-standing innovative leadership in the area of sustainability with our deep knowledge of the office environment to create a tool to help our customers save resources."

A product that likes to be walked over
Millennium Mats Company is selling 100 percent post-consumer-use recycled matting. "The top surface is made from recycled plastic (PET) bottles," says Dave Vinsel, sales manager at Millennium Mats Company. "The bottom is made from old tires. To date, we have used over 1,250,000 pounds of rubber tires that would end up in land fills. We are becoming a green company."

Concord promotes recycling push
Concord Office Products was promoting its recycled products for the UK market to coincide with Earth Month in April. Consumers purchasing products from Concord’s Recycled Divider and Transfer file range were entered into the prize draw for a bicycle worth £500.

"Concord’s ‘Celebrate Earth Month’ promotion was run in conjunction with wholesalers and dealers throughout the UK – aimed at offering the channel exciting ways to grow sales whilst promoting the benefits of recycled products made by a British manufacturer," said sales and marketing director Tony McDonnell.