Recently, Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS) came out with a press release recalling its proposed “National No-Print Day” campaign after the proposed promotion faced heavy protests from the commercial printing and paper industries.
A Commitment to Sustainability and Green Printing Practices
TABS, which is a managed print and professional services branch of electronics giant Toshiba Corp., launched the campaign at the beginning of June 2012 at the Sustainable Brands 2012 Conference held in San Diego. For some time now the California-based branch has been working on a long-term crusade to educate businesses on smarter, greener, more sustainable printing practices.
In the past couple of years, TABS has achieved significant success in its mission to recycle printer ink cartridges and other printing-related products. So much so that in April 2011, the company was able to announce a 410 percent growth in its recycling efforts between 2010 and 2011.
As part of the mission, the company had entered into a partnership with the recycling company “Close the Loop,” in which used printer ink cartridges, laser toner bottles, printer drum units, and similar printing-related items were converted into a composite, which was then used to make fences, park benches, and garden boxes.
The National No-Print Day campaign was to be the next step in the pro-sustainability mission and was to be directed at the end users, one of whose most frequent demands was for tips and strategies that would allow them to print less and reduce the quantity of paper waste produced.
Tabs planned to launch the sustainability campaign on October 23 as part of the Toshiba Corporation’s mission to plant 1.5 million trees by 2025, its 150th anniversary. As part of the campaign, the division created a website as well as National No-Print Day Facebook and LinkedIn pages. The online campaign was built around the “Tree,” the National No-Print Day mascot. Tree webisodes were also launched, which could be shared by participants via LinkedIn and Facebook.
Unfortunately, the provocative title backfired badly as it was interpreted in an overwhelmingly negative way by national paper and print industries.
Toshiba Backtracks, Engages in Damage-Control Strategies
Following the heavy backlash, Toshiba’s top executives made the decision to scrap the campaign. The area office was also insistent in clarifying any re-launch of the legitimate commercial printing industry.
Hopefully, the idea will get fresh life in another avatar, as sustainable and green campaigns of this kind can only help the industry, and its customers, in the long run. As of now, all websites and pages related to the National No-Print Day have been unpublished.