Honestly, the word "sustainability" gets on my nerves - don't get me wrong, I think sustainability is super important, but the word itself kind of annoys me.
Nevertheless, I get wide-eyed when I hear something pertaining to the topic. It's not exactly easy to write this blog article when it's 38 degrees in the office, and yet the 38 degrees and last night's thunderstorm are just small details that make me realize how serious the situation is. Everyone who until now claimed that "climate change did not exist" is now feeling it on their own body through the daily unwanted sauna effect "for-free". I have a different idea of a wellness.
Back to the topic, or actually we are in the middle of it. The heat is annoying and everyone thinks climate change is stupid. But as soon as one talks about renunciation, most people think that "sustainability" doesn't really have anything to do with them personally. No one wants to renounce.
Sustainability means investing resources: time, money, organization and energy. And sustainability also means change. Many companies claim to be sustainable because it's "on-vogue." "Sex sells" used to be, now it's "green sells," so everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, selling themselves as environmentally friendly. But most of it is just hot air (which nobody really needs at these temperatures). Greenwashing is the name of this phenomenon, which is no longer a new concept for any of us.
The fact that we as a production company are now writing about environmental awareness may not sound particularly credible at first glance. We don't want to claim that we are 100 percent "green", but we honestly try our best. We are aware that this is a process and we are also aware that this cannot happen overnight. With renewable energy we use and an increasingly climate-friendly car pool, we are taking a step. We are using intensive colors to be able to use less color but in a more efficient way, we are testing alternative materials such as biodegradable shrink wrap, we are using colors and varnishes without mineral oils and we are currently preparing our roof for a solar energy plant. We encourage our customers to use FSC-certified paper and offer them climate-neutral printing and recycled paper. The plastic cups have been replaced by individualized cups, and plastic bottles are also gradually disappearing.
We haven't reached our goal yet and it would be utopian to say that we can do it right now. After all, an environmentally conscious company requires that all stakeholders act with ecological awareness: Employees, suppliers, transport companies, customers. Everyone who is interacting with us. Above all, employees have to live the idea, and therefore it is fundamental that this is demonstrated from "above".
I mean, it's not easy. Although we, and fortunately many others, find printing really cool, it is an industry in which the price often decides whether you get a project or not. As I said, no one wants to relinquish and therefore many are not willing to invest this "more". LONGO is a company that must achieve economic goals in order to exist "sustainably".
We try to do our best, we do what we can, especially by producing products that will last. Books that give joy for years; magazines that are interesting and packaging that is more environmentally friendly than plastic.
So if the FAZ reports that Rewe will abandon printed product catalogs in the future, that's a slap in the face for our industry, it scares us, quite honestly BUT we also see the potential in such news: Quality rather than quantity.
LONGO has been a force in its industry for over 60 years by being proactive. We have adapted and innovated and so we continue because we believe in it. We want to continue our journey, we want to keep producing great, high-quality products that last, and we want to contribute what we can. We are not an environmental print shop. We don't want to promise things we cannot hold. But we do what we can and continue to believe in ourselves and in the fact, that if everyone takes their steps and does their part, we can do it.
We don't want to sit here and talk about the environment and make a mark, we don't want to be one of many companies, we don't want to claim things we don't do.
I have the feeling that there are companies that appear to be GREEN, but having a closer look they aren't, and then there's us, we've been trying somehow, for far longer than it has become a fad, not because we want to be trendy, but because our management in particular considers it as very important.
The point is not to establish ourselves, but to take position, be as transparent as possible and stimulate thoughts.