25 Feb How green is green?
No, we’re not talking the composition of colours, although we can talk about colours for hours! We want to talk sustainability. We’ve embarked on a journey to become more sustainable in how we run tgm, our processes, products we use and the types of promotional products we stock. But, the more we document, measure and seek better practices the more we question: What is sustainable? How eco is eco? Is that green or really green? Then there is: Are we making a difference? How do we measure what we’re doing? How can we do more? Here’s where we’re up to so far.
As graphic designers and marketers one of the main outputs we create is printed material. By being part of a printing collective we’ve been able to invest in state of the art machinery minimising the amount of waste paper used in setups. We also use vegetable-based inks, IS0 certified paper, excellent waste management processes and have made big steps to minimise water and power consumption in our printing. We’re pretty proud of this work!
Packaging and signage
We seek out environmentally friendly packaging and let our suppliers know what our clients are asking for. We now offer a great eco alternative to corflute and we have other signage materials that are made from recycled products and that can be recycled. We even have some compostable materials that we work with!
Branded products are such a key marketing tool but no one likes waste – we look for reusable products and products made from environmentally friendly or recycled material where we can. Who knew waste rice husk (which is normally burnt) can be combined with polypropylene to create all sorts of cool promo products like cups and pens. We love the challenge of hunting out clever ways of promoting our client’s brands. However, we shake our head at promo products that arrive individually wrapped and feed straight back to the supplier when things like this catch our eye.
Electronic quoting, cloud storage, e-newsletters and online workflow systems have eliminated loads of paper and storage requirements. Being a smaller organisation, this doesn’t have a massive impact, but little changes add up and sometimes our clients gather our feedback and introduce these systems in their own organisations. We count this as a great win.
The old saying ‘ask and it will be given you’ has never been truer when it comes to discovering new sustainable products. We work with very responsible suppliers who have come up with products such as line-able, brand-able cardboard waste bins, compostable lolly wrappers and alternatives to plastic water bottles. There are some clever people out there.
In addition to the usual recycling practices in the office we also recycle hardware in the likes of the inside of pull up banners when we can. A staff favourite is how we recycle any used one-sided paper turning it into paper cubes for notes – you never know what design you’ll come across on the back!
The most important thing we’ve done is make a conscious decision to become more sustainable by making an intention and setting out an action plan. Research says intentions play an important role in causing behaviour change. And being designers we turned our plan into a poster so we can all see where we’re at and it looks inviting to take part.
Yes, we’re committed to sustainability. Ask us if you want to find out more about our journey, we’re happy to share. And we’ll keep you posted on how we’re tracking.