By Jill Wangler, Director of Marketing

My previous post uncovered the falsehoods in statements about print and paper being environmentally unfriendly. Now let’s look at another fallacy:  digital communications is more “green” than print. Let’s look at the facts:

  • Carbon dioxide emissions from making a CD are four times higher than from printing a 100 page, four-color annual report.
  • Printing is the only medium with a one-time carbon footprint. All other media require energy every time they are viewed.
  • Electronic devices often require the mining and refining of numerous minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non renewable resources.
  • Adverse health effects from producing an e-reader are 70 times worse than producing a book!

And think about the electronic waste! E-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Note:


  • In 2010 Americans generated 2.4 million tons of electronic waste.
  • Worldwide 20 to 50 million metric tons of e‐waste are disposed each year.
  • E‐waste is still the fastest growing municipal waste stream in the US
  • 50-80% that is collected for recycling is shipped overseas and often unsafely dismantled.

So, in brief, I’m not advocating an “either/or” approach to marketing communications channel selection. Rather, by linking the power of paper with the efficiency of electronics, you create a synergy, producing a result greater than the sum of their individual contributions.

Click here to see Fineline’s green certifications.

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