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Navigation: Minimum Sustainable Recommendations | What are the Issues? | What are the Options? 

Did you know... over 50% of Millennials pay attention to print ads (Quad Graphics, December 2015).

Minimum Sustainable Recommendations

When purchasing printing services, specify the following:

  • Low-VOC inks 
  • Paper must be Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) certified.
  • The printer must be authorized by the certification body (FSC, SFI or PEFC) and must hold a certificate/license in order to affix the environmental logo onto the printed material.
  • Show preference for paper whitening using bleaching agents that do not contain chlorine compounds (e.g. Process Chlorine-free).

Other things to consider

If design services are also within the scope of the service, request the following:

  • The contractor must understand the requirements set out in The Accessibility for Manitobans Act.
  • The contractor must support requirements for enhacing accessibility pertaining to the communication and marketing materials (e.g. contrast, font size and alternative formats) from design to promotion/distribution, as intended within the Act and Standards.

To minimize greenhouse gas emissions and solid waste production, the vendor should be encouraged to develop sustainable delivery strategies such as:

  1. Product delivery consolidations
  2. Efficient transportation logistics and route planning
  3. No idling of vehicles
  4. Use of fuel efficient delivery vehicles

The Manitoba Climate and Green Plan Act supports reducing environmental and social impacts, as well as enhancing operations through sustainable procurement of goods and services.


What are the issues?

In addition to the impacts on forest ecosystems, (as discussed in Copy Paper) paper production, printing and inks also impact the environment.

Historically, inks used in the printing industry were petroleum-based and emit air pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.  The pigments in petroleum-based printing inks may also contain heavy metals that may contaminate soil and groundwater.


What are the options?

Similar to Copy Paper, consider the type of paper you are selecting for print jobs. Purchasers should request internationally recognized certifications including Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) to ensure that the pulp originated from sustainably harvested and responsibly managed forests. In order to affix the recognized certifications on to the printed material, the printer must be part of the chain of custody and hold a certificate/license to use the logo on printed materials. 

There are a number of Low-VOC ink options available in the printing industry (e.g. UV inks, water-based inks).


Last Updated: February 2019


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