18 April 2012
Print contributes to European growth: report
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM—A report about the current state of print media and manufacturing in Europe has been released by the international printing confederation INTERGRAF and nine other associations that represent the print industries in Europe.  
 
The goal of the report was to show how the printing industry is in keeping with the European Union's 2020 growth strategy plan. The report was full of praise for continent's print trade, and outlined the industry's strengths as environmental sustainability, innovations in technology, providing an essential service, and fuelling the economy. 


Helping the environment:

Europe's forests are continuing to grow under careful sustainability planning, claimed the report. It said the region has an annual forest growth of 5,940 squared kilometres and of which only 57 percent is logged.  
 
In terms of recycling, the European Declaration on Paper Recycling has brought success with 54 percent of paper in Europe made out of recovered used paper. 
 
Keeping down energy usage has made the industry more sustainable as well. The report stated, "between 2007 and 2009 alone electricity consumption in the paper industry decreased by an amount equivalent to the daily consumption of 1.3m people in more than 500,000 households." As well, emissions to air have been reduced due to new technologies. The report claimed "reducing heat demand in the paper machine, applying enabling technologies such as nanotechnologies, fibre separation, and gasification, will deliver high levels of energy and carbon efficiency."
 
Print Innovations: 
 
The digital boom has only made printing more dynamic, noted the report. New products are available such as temperature-sensitive paper, digital printing equipment, QR codes, and touch-surface print applications. Because of this today’s printing house can expand their services to offer database management, online services, integrated graphic design and cost-efficient printing of personalized short runs. 
 
It claimed digital publications can exist side-by-side print because they compliment each other, citing the example that regional newspapers can now be accessed from around the world.
 
Vital services for the public: 
 
Illiteracy is still affecting more than 10 per cent of Europe's population, said the report, and it claims that print is the way to solve this. Citizens won't always turn to digital outlets to stay informed and so it said accessible newspapers, magazines, direct mail, and books are still vital communication and reading methods.  
 
Boosting the economy:  
 
Europe's paper sector had a turnover of 550 billions Euros, which combined with the wood sector, contributed nearly two per cent of the continent's total GDP, stated the report.  
 
Because of the innovations in technologies and the wider ranger of services offered, it was reported "for each job in the paper sector, eight more are provided elsewhere." 
— Mike Woodward
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