bizcards.jpg The printing industry is notorious for its negative environmental impacts so, when you are on the lookout for a more sustainable business card, here are some things to keep in mind.

Do you NEED a business card?

Do you need to carry a physical business card or does your website, Facebook page or other social media sites provide all the information your customers would need to contact you? If you don’t need a business card, you have already greatly reduced your company’s environmental impact. Because, like many other large industries, printing uses large quantities of energy, chemicals, paper and water. If you find you do need a business card, read on.

Are your cards printed on sustainably harvested paper?

According to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), forests “filter the water we drink and the air we breathe. Worldwide, 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihoods, including food, clothing, or shelter.” Forest certification ensures wood comes from well managed forests. It is important to have worldwide standards for forest management that address the environmental, social and economic aspects of our forest communities. The FSC system also provides “a way of tracking forest products through independently verified Chain of Custody certification. This has to cover every stage in processing, conversion, distribution and printing before the final product can carry the FSC label.” FSC-certified paper ensures the fiber to make paper does not originate from Endangered Forests or areas of social conflict. Make sure your business cards are being printed on paper with FSC certification. For more information about the Forest Stewardship Council and FSC certified products, visit

What kind of inks and solvents are being used in the printing process?

The Environmental Protection Agency explained, “Emissions from printing operations result primarily from evaporation of organic solvents contained in the inks. Most of the solvent contained in the ink evaporates during the process, although some solvent may remain with the printed product leaving the facility. The organic solvents used in the ink may be Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) or Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP).” As mineral (petroleum) based inks dry, VOCs are emitted, which are damaging to people and the environment. Some printers use soy- and vegetable-based inks, which produce lower VOCs than petroleum-based inks. Additionally, there are some printers who strive to reduce their environmental impact. One such company is Greenerprinter, based in Point Richmond, California. 

  • Stocks only papers that contain a high percentage of recycled content and has paper stock that is also FSC-certified. 
  • Uses soy- and vegetable-based inks, which are low in VOCs.
  • Operates as a carbon-neutral business by carbon offsets of shipping emissions and investments of Renewable Energy Credits to offset emissions from operations. 
  • Invests in state-of-the art equipment and technology to reduce waste in the printing process. 
  • Does all printing on-site, which allows Greenerprinter to maintain consistency and quality and closely monitor environmental impacts. 

For more information about Greenerprinter, visit