The Economic Importance of Print

Some interesting reading on the Print Industry which we thought we would share…

According to statistics analysis by the BPIF (British Printing Industries Federation) Print is not only sustainable but was the second highest value-adding industry in the UK (second to Pharmaceuticals).

With a turnover of £14.3 billion(1), gross value added of £6.4billion(1) and employing nearly 140,000 people(1) in around 10,500 companies(1), the UK printing sector is an important economic contributor and employer in all UK regions.

The UK is the fifth largest producer of printed products in the world(2) and contributes almost £1 billion(3) to the UK’s balance of trade.

1. BPIF Research analysis of ONS data.
2. Pira International.
3. BPIF Research analysis of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) data – £974 million in 2009.

The economic importance of print is clear and it’s worth taking a look at some of the facts that dispel the myths around the paper industry and its impact on the environment.

‘The paper industry is a relatively small user of wood. Of the wood extracted from the world’s forests, 53% is used for energy production, 28% is used by sawmills, and only around 11% is used directly by the paper industry.’

Source: FAO, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

‘The area of forest in Europe has increased by almost 13 million hectares (an area roughly the size of Greece) in the past 15 years mainly due to planting of new forests and natural expansion of forests onto former agricultural land.’

Source: MCPFE, Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe. 2007.

‘Paper isn’t the enemy of the environment and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. While paper does use trees, its production does consume energy and too often, waste paper ends up in landfill sites, it is also one of the few truly renewable and recyclable raw materials we have. The paper industry is facing up to its responsibilities and investing heavily in all areas of production and sourcing of raw materials to minimise its environmental impact.’