Quocirca’s Sustainability Leaders 2022 Study analyses vision, strategy and performance on issues such as net-zero, circularity, remanufacturing, customer and partner sustainability initiatives
Maidenhead, UK, 21 June 2022: Global market insight and research company Quocirca today published the first Sustainability Leaders Study for the print industry. It includes a Sustainability Vendor Landscape positioning key vendors based on their sustainability strategy, vision and completeness of offering.
“Sustainability performance is now an important supplier selection factor as businesses aim to meet ambitious environmental targets and reduce the impact generated in their supply chain,” says Louella Fernandes, Research Director at Quocirca. “Among the IT decision-makers we surveyed 84% say it is important that suppliers offer sustainable products and services and 81% say suppliers must demonstrate that they are reducing their own environmental impact. This report is a valuable resource for organisations conducting supplier sustainability due diligence, who are seeking to understand and compare the base performance, rate of progress, and innovation behind sustainability initiatives in the workplace print market.”
Quocirca’s Sustainability Leaders 2022 study is the first independent and comprehensive analysis of sustainability strategies and offerings in the print industry. In its analysis, Quocirca has evaluated each vendor’s vision, its strategic approach to reducing its own environmental impact and how it is enabling its customers to address their own environmental targets through the provision of sustainability-centric services.
The findings are drawn from detailed vendor submissions in response to Quocirca’s in-depth questionnaire, public ESG data and statements published by each vendor, and primary research conducted among 212 IT decision makers in the UK and US.
The study finds that the industry is relatively mature in terms of product design, manufacturing, distribution and end-of-life management. However, it is less advanced around the delivery of customer- and channel-focused sustainability offerings.
- A clear commitment to net-zero: all companies have net-zero targets that fall due by 2051 at the latest, with one manufacturer targeting carbon negative status by this point. Several have brought forward their net-zero target in relation to their supplies business to 2030 and one vendor plans to reach net-zero across its entire business by 2035.
- Circular approaches are well-established and apply to product design and manufacturing processes, with mature takeback, recycling, and waste management schemes in place for hardware and consumables. The industry is also making the shift from product- to service-based models (such as Managed Print Services) and providing intelligent hardware and software that supports the transition to the ‘less-paper’ workplace.
- Remanufactured hardware product portfolios are emerging as differentiators to support device circularity strategies. Buyers should consider evaluating high quality remanufactured devices to reduce the lifetime impact of the products they use and minimise resource consumption.
- Sustainability-led customer services are gaining momentum. Environmental and carbon footprint assessments and analytics are offered by some suppliers as part of managed print services (MPS) engagements. There is an opportunity for vendors to pursue stronger alignment of MPS with sustainability, including advocating workflow digitisation tools to meet paper reduction targets, helping customers identify third party software tools to deliver efficiency benefits, and providing analytics to inform continuous improvement against sustainability targets.
- Sustainability-focused channel programmes are needed to drive all-important channel engagement. While there is encouragement for the channel from most vendors to incorporate sustainability into customer messaging, only one vendor currently has a dedicated channel sustainability programme. This represents an advantage for its partners, who are better placed to capitalise on growing market demand.
“The industry is relatively strong on identifying and acting on most of the key metrics around carbon emissions, renewable energy use, resource consumption and waste management,” continues Louella. “However, as vendors come under growing pressure to address the wider impact of their business on the planet and people, addressing how customers can use their products and services to improve sustainability performance, and influencing how the channel goes about selling these benefits will be essential.”
“Sustainability – both in terms of the vendor’s own performance and the services it offers – is becoming an important competitive battleground,” concludes Louella. “We expect to see increasing sophistication as vendors develop their corporate ESG strategy and bring to market innovative customer services, channel initiatives, and product enhancements that deliver environmental and social benefits.”
The vendors included in the first Sustainability Leaders 2022 report and Sustainability Vendor landscape are: Brother, Canon, Epson, HP Inc., Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, Ricoh and Xerox.
Quocirca is a global market insight and research firm providing strategic market analysis and intelligence to print industry business and technology leaders. Quocirca specialises in analysing the convergence of print and digital technologies in the future workplace.
Since 2006, Quocirca has played an influential role in advising clients on major shifts in the market. Our consulting and research are at the forefront of the rapidly evolving print services and solutions market, trusted by clients seeking new strategies to address disruptive technologies.
Trusted by global industry organisations, Quocirca offers a wealth of specialist knowledge across the connected print ecosystem. Our extensive research activities are backed up with rigorous analysis and a robust primary research programme.
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