FESPA’s Print Census

The Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner

Sustainability is at the top of the table, according to FESPA’s recently published findings from the latest Print Census. Respondents confirmed that rising sustainability demands are concerning them, along with keeping up with new business models and investment.

The survey of 1,778 printing companies from more than 120 countries was done in partnership with InfoTrends and focused on long-term trends identified in the 2018 Print Census. Five years ago printers were worried about the industry’s prospects including revenue and investment planning, customer expectations and rising environmental pressures. All of those concerns are still prevalent. However since the 2018 Census, respondents have seen an increase in average revenue of 7%: in 2018, average annual revenue was €4.4m, whereas in 2023 that figure was €4.7m. And today that 72% of print buyers want their service providers to be environmentally sustainable and to offer environmentally friendly products should be causing considerable excitement. That excitement might be good and/or bad, depending on where a business owner is on their sustainability journey.

For entrepreneurs coming into the graphics industry it should scream opportunity and provide powerful indicators as to the kind of kit they should be investing in. If 36% of respondents want both sustainable products and sustainable manufacturing, it’s a given that any business that meets those requirements will be able to tap into a ready and willing target market. Companies already investing in developing their sustainability credentials will also appreciate the vote of confidence that they’re on the right track. In all cases the business risk is substantially lower because the service provider already knows that their pitch will be well received. Perceived cost premiums associated with more sustainable products are not the barrier they once were to sustainable production. 70% of Print Census respondents said they can address sustainability expectations without price increases. A further 22% have already raised prices and have seen no impact on sales.

These numbers will make for gloomy reading for organisations who are not keen to invest in new energy efficient kit. Business owners reluctant to gen up on new substrates and colorants that are recyclable will also be feeling the pressure. And pressure it is to accept that the only way forward for this industry’s future success, is to take steps towards greater sustainability. Companies not planning to invest in the environmental sustainability of their business should be thinking again. The full Print Census report is available only to FESPA members, so if you are not yet a member, get signed up soonest. You can do so here.

– Laurel Brunner

This article was produced by the Verdigris Project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa GraphicsEFIFespaFujifilmHPKodakMiraclonRicohSplash PRUnity Publishing and Xeikon.

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