For the print industry at large, this is not a new concept or initiative. Concerns about paper waste, energy use, recycling and re-using materials have always been high on the agenda for print sellers, OEMs and organisations that use print as part of their day-to-day. But with the 2020s labelled as the ‘decade of action’ by the UN2, the urgency around these topics means that businesses and individuals are more focused than ever on ensuring sustainability and helping prevent climate change. Indeed a study3 from Quocirca found that more than half of IT decision makers believe that reducing environmental impact is the top challenge associated with managing their print infrastructure from 2019-2025. For suppliers and OEMs, the pressure is apparent. Those same IT decision makers expect that print manufacturers and suppliers will play a role in helping them gain environmental performance improvements - 57% believe that suppliers should be taking a leading position around sustainability by 2025.
But these trends don’t solely apply to the print industry. The pandemic is rapidly changing working habits for everyone around the world, and pressure from consumers means that all businesses are increasingly being asked to focus on sustainability to maintain their corporate reputations. This ‘perfect storm’ of factors is leading to the circular economy being predicted4 to drive supply chain management, and pivoting business models towards a less wasteful approach. So, what does this look like in practice?
Re-using materials when designing new products is not a new concept, but it is becoming more popular. An example is the Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE EQ80 range, which uses up to 80% reused materials in its building, to retain the value of raw materials. Fewer new materials and parts naturally means less waste in the short and long term and contributes to the circular economy. Investing in products that are manufactured in this way can go a long way in helping businesses bolster their eco-credentials, while simultaneously contributing to a more sustainable society.