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Can digital signage improve your environmental footprint?

Can digital signage improve your environmental footprint?

Benefits of digital signage don’t only include improved efficiency and brand recognition but improve your environmental footprint. Compared to print-based advertising, digital signage is much more environmentally friendly. The environmental impact of large corporations has become a big issue among world leaders in recent years, by opting for eco-friendly processes, your business can help save the earth, while simultaneously keeping money in your pocket. 

To start with you need to consider your signages production and implementation impact. Print methods immediately raise environmental conces due to the number of trees that need to be cut, transported to mills, processed and made into paper. Additionally, the transportation logistics to each individual signage location will be greatly contributing to your carbon footprint.

Secondly, anything that reduces your post production footprint is obviously a huge plus. Poster communication has a very short shelf life and the waste generated from monthly multi-location print campaigns, has much more substantial implications than setting up a digital signage network. Digital signage messaging can be updated easily, eliminating the need to print new signs over and over as messaging necessities change. Posters on the other hand end up in a landfills only a few weeks after circulation (or even shorter if a printing mistake is spotted!). That’s one serious waste of paper.

Waste disposal is also a common environmental conce with printed signs. Green or sustainability initiatives are top of mind in many industries today:-

  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 246 million tons of trash were created in the U.S. in 2008.

The consideration is not just for the paper but also for the chemicals, inks, solvents and adhesives, all of which are necessary for the remainder of the printing process. Greenhouse gas emissions are ever increasing, fueled by incineration, methane gas released from landfill decomposition and the transportation logistics of paper products throughout the paper signage cycle.

Case Study: A Fast Food chain with 500 outlets is using posters to display their promotions in each outlet. A call comes in from head office, saying “We’re adding new seasonal items to the menu and our posters need changing.” That’s a lot of paper to dispose of and a whole lot more being used to replace them. Consider how often this scenario occurs? It could be every month or even every week. Regardless the frequency, can you envision the huge amount of paper used in a year simply by replacing posters on a weekly or monthly basis? Based on this example alone, digital signage holds the upper hand in the eco-friendly stakes by instantly eliminating paper wastage, reducing CO2 transport emissions, and the prevention of increasing numbers of paper, plastic, ink, chemicals, and paint going into landfills.

But doesn’t digital signage use lots of energy? Obviously digital signage consumes energy, which contributes to your business’s carbon footprint, but it’s far less than the environmental impact of print. There are also several things you can do to conserve energy and help the environment. Technological advancements have seen energy efficient LED screens introduced to the market as an eco-friendly alteative LCD. These screens use less electricity and tend to have a longer lifespan, meaning they avoid the landfill for considerably longer. Many screens today also have automatic brightness control, which means they adjust their brightness to coincide with the level of ambient light around them, which conserves energy and keeps the screen working longer. Another way to reduce unnecessary energy usage is to opt not to go with touch screen solutions, as these require significantly more energy to process the touch sensitive information.

Even though digital signs consume energy, they are by far a greener option than printed signs. So despite incurring a large expense upfront, their eco-friendly benefits give you a quick return on your investment and put a big tick next to you Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR)!




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