In recent years, firms have increasingly recognized the strategic advantage of superior environmental performance. In response to changing pressures from stakeholders such as customers, environmental groups, local communities, and regulators, companies have realized that they need to strategically analyze their competitive context and integrate ecological principles into their comprehensive corporate strategies. In deciding on an environmental strategy, managers need to analyze the internal factors, such as the resources, infrastructures, and culture of the firm. They must also analyze the external factors, such as competition, regulations, and market conditions. Despite the advancement in knowledge and practice in the area of strategic environmental management, there is very limited knowledge about the adoption of environmental strategy in the printing industry. As has been found in other industries, it is likely that printing companies can formulate and implement proactive environmental strategies in order to gain competitive advantages. These advantages include cost reduction, improved product quality, and improved relationships with external stakeholders, such as customers, regulating agencies, and local communities. In fact, there is evidence that some printers have been able to significantly reduce environmental impact, production costs, and compliance liabilities because they adopted proactive eco-strategies.1 However, literature on environmental management in the printing industry mainly focuses on regulatory compliance and technological solutions. It seems that printing firms have not yet fully discovered the benefits of taking a strategic approach to environmental issues. Here we outline the opportunities and challenges for printing companies that take a strategic approach to environmental issues. We summarize the experiences of four environmentally- proactive printing companies, and then discuss similarities and differences across the four firms and draw conclusions for printers interested in taking a more strategic view of environmental issues.

Publication Date


Document Type

Full-Length Book


A Research Monograph of the Printing Industry Center (CIAS) at RIT

Department, Program, or Center

Printing Industry Center (CIAS)


RIT – Main Campus