EcoSmart modc made for Prestige Service Training.

Digital Business Cards = Sustainability

Why Think Sustainable for Business Cards?

Each year over 100 billion business cards are produced worldwide (100 Million for Australia alone) leading to the potential loss of approaching 6 million trees (yeesh!). Perhaps more shocking is the fact that within a week after receiving a business card, almost 90% of them are thrown away never to be seen or used again in anyway. Thankfully a few will be recycled, but overwhelmingly the majority find their way to landfill – not much of a life for what is seen as the key first impression for many businesses, industries and individuals. 

Paper production is one of the most resource-intensive and polluting of all manufacturing industries, with emissions to the atmosphere and water bodies, including bleaches and dioxins that are harmful carcinogens. In many production methods, 1 kilogram of paper can use upwards of 300 litres of water. This is truly a jaw dropping amount and something now so easily and readily addressed. And even though the humble and tiny business card seems to pale in comparison, the sheer volume of production and near immediate waste of such items cannot be ignored any longer. 

Beyond water required for paper production, 42% of wood harvested globally is used to make paper, often leading to significant deforestation and habitat destruction. The use of so many trees to make paper is of major concern given 50% of all terrestrial carbon is stored in trees alone – making them a crucial buffer to ward off climate change and being a key element in our strive forward for greater environmental stability. Additionally, old-growth and older second-growth natural forests store significantly more carbon than newly-planted forests, and are often much more biodiverse than plantation-grown timber forests – often referred to as ‘Sustainable Forestry‘.

Further additional adverse environmental impacts connected to paper production include, significant energy consumption, transport and freight handling and then ultimately waste and waste management processing. Paper alone comprises 50% of business waste, 33% of municipal waste and 25% of waste going to landfill. Within landfill, paper decomposes releasing methane gas that is over 20 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. Paper business cards represent a sizeable and undeniable segment of this ongoing waste and resource consumption.

Let’s save some trees! 🌳🌳🌳


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