We're not the only ones wondering what to make of Quebecor World's EnviroInk announcement. (See "Green Ink or Greenwash Ink".)
At a recent presentation to customers, our contacts tell us, a Quebecor official said her phone had been "ringing off the wall" since the announcement. Several customers peppered her with questions about the ink's environmental significance, such as whether it was greener than standard heatset-offset inks and whether it represented an improvement over Quebecor's old practices. She was unable to answer those questions but promised future clarifications.
She did say the ink usually contained at least 25% renewable resources, which is more than the minimum required for SoySeal inks. The main difference is that the renewables in EnviroInk come mostly from trees and those in SoySeal inks come from soybeans.
(Before you jump to conclusions about soy ink being greener because it "saves trees," consider this question: Which would be a more environmentally friendly use of a piece of land, soy farming or working forest? Besides, no one cuts down trees to make pine rosin; it's a byproduct of making pulp.)
Quebecor has confirmed that use of the EnviroInk symbol would not violate federal "greenwashing" standards. But several who heard the presentation nevertheless expressed concern that customers would indeed view the symbol as a form of greenwashing.