130 Digital is not better In 1995 Hamburg band Tocotronic loudly proclaimed that digital is better Even twenty years later we cannot yet un reservedly agree with this sentiment On the contrary digi tal is certainly not always better Such as when it comes to this Sustainability Report For years we have been bombarded with messages in the email signatures of many people stating that it is better not to print out their email but just store it digitally for the sake of the trees This has led the world to believe that stor ing and sending data digitally is always the most eco friend ly solution if not the most sustainable as well This just isn t so and we re not alone in saying this Scien tists the paper industry and journalists have been carrying on a digital vs paper debate for years Increasingly we are finding that this is actually a neither nor situation first off In all cases the entire life cycle of paper and electronics has to be considered We have done this We print green see page 129 in other words carbon neutral and without min eral oil on certified recycled paper And the finished prod uct whether that be the Sustainability Report or perhaps our customer magazine is sent by us in a carbon neutral man ner In most cases brochure PDFs are quite large data pack ets When we send these they automatically grow in size due to metadata added en route from A to B The problem is we keep these on a server run on green energy But once we send the data we no longer have any influence over the kind of energy used to transmit it Looking at net electricity generation in Germany green energy accounts for around a quarter of this This also corresponds to a survey regarding the proportion of our customers who purchase green ener gy So we have to assume that only every fourth data pack et can also be transmitted in a carbon neutral manner in the best case scenario That s if it doesn t also ping across borders from server to server before reaching the reader as is often the case Mountains of data The reader then saves the data received the PDF to his PC or workstation As the volume of data increases a computer needs more energy to boot up Companies have to make ex tra backups which also require electricity The more data is amassed whether privately or in business the more mem ory space is needed This mainly means that more hard drives and the like have to be manufactured requiring large amounts of energy And at the end there is more electron ic waste Electronic waste is the fastest growing component among all waste In Europe alone it is increasing 3 to 5 annually This is three times as much as the entire growth in waste each year And electronic waste cannot be recycled as well and simply as paper either In Europe at least there is no link between paper produc tion and deforestation The wood for virgin fibre paper is normally acquired there from additional trees grown specif ically for paper production As a fundamental rule we only use paper from certified sources And almost exclusively re cycled paper for printed material And this is also an advan tage paper can be easily recycled This happens to around 70 of used paper in Europe 6 Nature and people

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