Laurel Brunner: Going for 100% Renewable Energy

The splintered nature of modern communications has encouraged ever more people to become eco warriors of one sort or another. But these fragmented efforts are really not much good, because they are largely uncoordinated or aligned. Far better to get the world’s biggest companies to commit to ambitious global campaigns. Graphics professionals can do their bit by supporting projects such as RE100, a collaborative, global effort that brings together businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity.

RE100 is supported by The Climate Group, an international non-profit organisation set up to “deliver a world of net zero greenhouse gas emissions”. RE100 members include some of the world’s biggest print buyers, so printing companies, system manufacturers and suppliers have good reasons to look at how they can support RE100 objectives. The organisation has been around for about three years and the 100 members include Adobe, HP and Ricoh, and lots of insurance companies, banks and investment groups. Beverage companies such as Heineken and Coca-Cola, consumer products companies such as Unilever plus a handful of car manufacturers also support RE100.

All of these companies, whatever their primary businesses, are print buyers one way or another. And all of them are leading the way for industry to move from fossil fuels to renewables. The weight of corporate effort to mitigate the effects of climate change is creating its own momentum and driving change. The more companies who join this initiative, the more powerful that momentum will be and the faster change will happen. The likes of Heidelberg and Fujifilm could also get involved, encouraging more companies from the graphics industry to work towards a greener future.

The collective goal of RE100 members, and almost a requirement of membership, is to commit to exclusively using 100% renewable energy, referably sometime soon. HP Inc, a huge player in the graphics market, has for instance committed to source 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020 and Ricoh aims to source 100% renewable electricity by 2050, with at least 30% by 2030.

RE100 members are massive organisations where environmental commitments are subject to considerable scrutiny, both from regulators, customers and shareholders. If these mega corporations can manage their processes towards reduced dependence on fossil fuels, surely the SMEs that are the bulk of the graphics industry could manage it too?

Laurel Brunner


his 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 Graphics, EFI, Fespa, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift,  Unity Publishing and Xeikon.

Laurel Brunner

Laurel specialises in digital prepress, digital production and digital printing and is managing director Digital Dots ( She provides international editorial, consulting and educational services to a wide cross section of publishers, manufacturers and industry associations. Laurel also participates several ISO working groups developing standards for the graphics industry and convenes a group responsible for standards relating to the environmental impact of graphics technology, including print media.

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