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Deborah Hawkins

Final Thoughts on COP26, and Where We Are with Sustainability in the Document Industry

President Obama speaks about hope at climate summit

Nov 30, 2021 11:22:28 AM


Be sure to read our first piece on COP26, too!


The best thing about COP26 (the global summit addressing climate change held this month in Glasgow) was seeing a tieless and somewhat casual former US President Obama once again standing up for the environment and delivering this passionate speech:



To be honest, the conference reporting left me more confused about direction and sad to hear of the lack of achievement so far. I am none the wiser about what this means for the document industry other than I know that activism—especially when it comes from a former US President—is what we need more of.


Apart from the dig at the event location (Obama referred to Glasgow as offering weak coffee and bad food) and how Trump set the US back on climate somewhat during his reign, Obama spoke as he often does about hope and not giving up. “Paris was always going to be a beginning,” he said, and yet many nations failed to show ambition and how “Glasgow offers good and bad news.” Climate change should be above geopolitical issues and global tensions. The focus shifts to the younger generation, for whom the most is at stake, and their chance to educate elders and make life choices for climate change.


COP26, the last hope to limit global warming


Meanwhile, Europe’s document industry waits to see if COP26 has given the lobbyists enough wisdom and courage to take the next step forward. The current European Voluntary Agreement (EuroVAPrint), founded in 2011, set out to improve the environmental performance of imaging equipment on the European market. As a non-profit organization, EuroVAPrint ticks the Obama boxes of being beyond politics and sovereignty and, at a micro level, allows the industry-wide agreements of pushing ourselves to the next step of energy consumption. The only issue is that it’s voluntary and, thus, it has to wait for legislation—should that even happen.


We have seen signs of the document industry pushing ahead in preparation for legislation as stakeholders realize the power of a holistically sustainable message that can be as powerful as a brand name. Keypoint Intelligence’s recent Buyers Lab (BLI) PaceSetter Award for Sustainability in the Office saw HP claim this coveted award thanks to its comprehensive company vision, continued reduction of single-use plastics, and the opt-in Impact section of the Amplify reseller program.


And with the shift to remote working, consumers want to know that what they are buying and living with is not damaging to future generations and they are making the best eco-conscious decision with every single purchase more than ever. Perhaps the next step would be for closer activity between vendors and remanufacturers sharing the burden and making better solutions for younger generations past their own missions.


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