Our second paper efficiency project webinar, or ‘PEP talk’, was held on Wednesday 8 May 2013, at 3pm. If you missed it you can see it online or download the slides here. There is an accompanying webpage with some signposts to useful resources here. Why not check out our other paper efficiency tools?


To reduce the environmental and social impacts and financial costs of paper, many organisations are looking at digital delivery of information. A huge range of paper applications can be replaced by digital alternatives: online newspapers and magazines, ebooks, electronic billing, web banner advertising, digital photography, PDF report downloads and of course emails and computer-based filing systems. But how do the environmental impacts of paper and digital alternatives compare? Is digital greener than paper or does a shift online just displace your footprint, rather than reducing it?

This 40 minute webinar explores comparisons between the impacts of paper and digital applications, review some of the lifecycle studies that have looked at this issue and examine some case studies. We draw some conclusions – including how carbon footprints are less for digital than paper – and offer some signposts.

This Paper Efficiency Project (PEP) talk aims to help you work out how to compare the footprints of your organisation’s choices to print or to work online and to help you to take a systematic approach to identifying the different opportunities that digital and paper media present and offer some signposts for assessing the impacts, particularly the carbon footprint, of the different alternatives.

It includes a recent case study by Penguin Books, presented by Meredith Walsh, which demonstrates what needs to be taken into account in comparing the environmental impacts of paper versus digital applications and an introduction to a method for assessing the carbon footprint of digital alternatives to printed paper products, by Michael Sturges, consultant with Innventia.

To find out more about the paper versus digital debate, see here.