To say that Toshiba stepped in it, would be an understatement. If you hadn’t heard, the manufacturer of electronics and … oh yeah, printing equipment … declared October 23, 2012 as “No-Print Day” in an effort “to raise awareness of the impact of printing on our planet.”
The Print Council released its response to said holiday expressing “strong disappointment.” (You gotta love good PR people.) We couldn’t agree more with the sentiments expressed in their statement, which is presented below:
“According to the executive director of the Print Council, Benjamin Y. Cooper, “The announcement by Toshiba is unfortunate on many levels. First, paper is the most recovered and recycled product reaching roughly 70 percent recovery. Second, paper companies in fact plant three trees for every one that is used. Third, Toshiba itself is in the printing industry producing equipment to print on paper.”
According to the announcement, Toshiba plans to plant 1.5 million trees by 2025. Cooper noted that the goal would represent about one third of the average daily planting of trees that currently takes place in the United States.
“Planting 1.5 million trees sounds like a laudable goal, and it is; but it represents an insignificant addition to the anticipated 20 billion trees that will be planted by the forest products industry during that same 13 year stretch,” Cooper said.
“A better program for Toshiba is to become a sustainable company by the proper use, re-use and disposal of all their products. Different communication needs and applications call for different media. No one media is impact free. Paper-based communication is, however, recoverable, recyclable and renewable – a claim that few are able to make,” Cooper concluded.
Marty Maloney, chairman of Broadford & Maloney, Inc., a founding member of The Print Council and its first executive director, added: “Toshiba has made a major business faux pas based on sophomoric enthusiasm matched by kindergarten level misinformation. They just didn’t do enough homework. Perhaps they are trying to take the spotlight off the lack of sustainability in the electronics industry and instead get consumers to incorrectly focus on paper. As Ben stated, paper is recoverable, recyclable and renewable, but the monitors, hard drives, laptops, tablets etc. of the electronics industry are not and often fall into the category of ‘permanent garbage.’ I will personally cut Toshiba some slack and assume they just didn’t get all their facts right. Now that Toshiba has the facts, they can redirect their energy to a goal that is not a bogus old wives’ tale.”