Press Releases

Press Release: What’s Carbon Balancing Got To Do With You?

What’s carbon balancing got to do with you?

If you’re a business; a lot – and sooner than you think.

With the government’s Climate Change Act carbon reduction targets set at 34% by 2020 (80% by 2050) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) working towards transparency about greenhouse gas emissions by businesses and cities, carbon management will fast become a high priority in your Corporate Social Responsibility agenda.

UK Government has already made an announcement that it will mandate the reporting of greenhouse gases (or ‘carbon footprint’) by companies quoted on the London Stock Market. What affects PLC’s today, will eventually affect most other organisations.

Carbon balancing (or ‘carbon offsetting’) is something that the air travel industry has made a household name of. The majority of airlines offer customers the option of offsetting their flight during the online booking process. Carbon balancing works like this…

The amount of CO2 produced during the delivery of a service or manufacture of a product and the implementation of their marketing is calculated, and the carbon impact is offset by absorbing or preventing the release of an equivalent amount of carbon into the atmosphere.

In other words; by saving trees.


The chairman of the UK Financial Services Authority has an idea…

“The first step towards managing carbon emissions is to measure them, because in business what gets measured gets managed.”
Lord Adair Turner, Chairman, UK Financial Services Authority

Northumberland based printing company Potts Print (UK) has recently carbon balanced its entire operation. Facts and figures about energy usage across the whole company – printing presses, computers and other hardware, company vehicle mileage, production of materials, delivery distances, etc – were submitted to the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Management (ECCM), who calculated the carbon footprint of the business. This was subsequently offset, in association with the World Land Trust, through the preservation of endangered tropical rainforests equaling the size of 12 football pitches.

With 165 employees, Potts is classed as a small-to-medium enterprise (SME). While the CDP is so far targeting large corporations, the directors at Potts felt that getting ahead of the curve would be advantageous for both the environment and the business itself.

While it seems fairly obvious to most people that caring about the environment is ‘the right thing to do’, there can be cynicism about green initiatives by businesses being simply about good PR. But the end result of a business implementing an environmental initiative, whatever the reason or the reimbursement, is one that’s good for the environment. Potts tries to avoid ‘greenwashing’ its clients by being transparent not only about the ecological benefits, but about the financial and CSR advantages too.

Operations Director, and champion of the Potts GreenPrint environmental initiative, Tony Mullarkey says: “The benefits of initiatives like Carbon Balancing, using FSC/PEFC certified materials and managing waste are obvious to us. It’s the right thing to do, and it creates a revenue stream for the business. By being transparent about how these features can help a client or end user – both for CSR, turnover and the government’s carbon reduction targets. We allow customers to gain a clear picture of the benefits and make up their own minds about their value.”



: Operations Director Tony Mullarkey at Potts Print (UK)

The truth is, there are advantages to being a sustainable business that aren’t about saving the planet. These can be used very effectively to encourage more businesses to step up their sustainability efforts, rather than being brushed under the carpet for fear of the intentions seeming dishonourable. Customers can see through that anyway.

For example, the waste management system used by Potts generates just under 1% of the company’s turnover as revenue. Also, being ‘the first Carbon Balanced Printing Company in the North of England’ is a unique selling point to clients and their end users. It can be said that the icing on the cake is that these initiatives which generate income and help us practice good CSR, are also good for the environment, rather than vice versa, and perhaps businesses shouldn’t be afraid to put it that way.

That’s not to say that the positive financial side effects of being green should outweigh the fact that it is ‘the right thing to do’. Although the waste management system at Potts generates an income, the intention remains to further reduce waste materials and therefore the carbon footprint of the business, which in turn will reduce the income generated by waste. This is a straightforward matter of social responsibility.



More and more clients of Potts are choosing to carbon balance their print and packaging. From large international businesses like Pandora Jewellery

“Potts is the main supplier of printed material for Pandora UK, including all marketing literature, brochures, leaflets and in-store visuals. They also store and distribute over 400 lines of Point of Sale to all of the Pandora retail outlets in the country. The fact that both the production and delivery of these items is now completely Carbon Balanced is of significant benefit to Pandora’s carbon reduction targets and overall sustainability commitment.”
Isabella Mann, VP of Marketing, Pandora Jewellery UK

…to upcoming environmentally aware brands like Good heavens!

“Being a premium drinking yogurt brand it was important for Good heavens! to find the right partner for our flagship project: the 125ml mini bottle. It is being launched at 160 Tesco stores in 2012. We see the value in Potts being our carry case suppliers because, not only is the design and print beautiful, the eco-friendly material reflects our attention to detail and what we stand for as a company.”
Nir Sapir, CEO, Bio Green Foods Ltd



: Carbon balanced pack for ‘Good heavens! Drinking Yogurt’ with World Land Trust logo

The quality shared by those clients who see the value in using carbon balanced printing to advance their carbon reduction objectives is that they believe they can make a difference. Showing every day through their own sustainability practices, on their products, and through printed and online marketing campaigns, how clients and end users can benefit from various environmental initiatives goes a long way in dispelling the myths surrounding ‘green business’.


The north east of England is home to a growing number of ecologically tuned-in businesses and organisations. On 19th September, The Big Eco Show will take place at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, and the mission of its organisers – Daisy Green Media & Events and Climate North East – is to energise businesses in the region in stepping up their sustainability efforts and help the north east become the green capital of the UK.

Founder & Director of Daisy Green Media & Events, Nicola Alexander, says: “We decided to hold this large-scale event to bring together and celebrate our ambitious, diverse and thriving business community who are contributing to our growing low-carbon and climate resilient economy. The Big Eco Show aims to do just that, as well as sharing knowledge and experience, and providing advice, information and inspiration for others.”

Potts Print (UK) will be involved in the show, with Tony Mullarkey on the panel of the Seriously Speaking debate, plus a stand in the main hall where visitors from local businesses and other organisations can find out first hand about carbon balanced printing.

Tony’s presentation, Carbon Balanced (and then some), tells the story of Potts’ journey to become a leader in sustainable business. He will talk about carbon reduction and other environmental initiatives, what it takes to implement them, and how they support business growth. Future aims including rainwater collection, solar power, LED lighting, biomass heating and electric vehicles will also be discussed.

If you really want to know what carbon balancing’s got to do with you, come along and find out. Entry to the show is free.

Book to see Carbon Balanced (and then some) and other sessions at The Big Eco Show here:


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Press Contact: Laurie Cansfield
Corporate Communications Manager

Potts Print (UK)
Atlas House
Nelson Park
NE23 1WG

Phone: 0845 375 1875
Mobile: 07747 777 186
Twitter: @pottsprintuk


Potts Print (UK) is a leading independent printing, packaging and direct mail company based in Cramlington, Northumberland.

Clients of Potts Print (UK) include international corporations, retail and pharmaceutical companies, the NHS and public sector organisations, creative agencies, charities, regional and local businesses and the performing and visual arts community.

All clients are offered cutting-edge lithographic and personalised digital applications to produce best value print solutions, bespoke packaging and direct mail combined with seamless production, storage and distribution services.

NOTE: The company was rebranded as Potts Print (UK) in November 2010. It was previously known as Potts Printers. Please refer to the company as Potts Print (UK) – or Potts within the flow of the text where preferred. Thanks very much.

Stop Press! News & Entertainment from Potts Print (UK)
The first Carbon Balanced Printing Company in the North of England
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