Paper vs. Planet: A win-win case

by Shiegella Rae Gealon


Responding to the environment’s cry for help has always been a challenge to newspaper companies. It is a difficult decision whether to hurt the environment and protect their business or reversely, harm their business and protect the earth. However despite this no-win situation, the Philippine Daily Inquirer which is one of the country’s largest publication companies has inched its way to prove that both business and environment can win at the same time.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer bravely embraced change in the form of direction, organization and technology to make sure that it establishes an image that is truly Filipino in character but global in service. Over the years, the Inquirer continued to evolve and its transformation is very impressive. It is the newspaper that proved that being green is not a cost of doing business but instead it is an avenue for growth and progress. To be an environmentally responsible paper is a catalyst for innovation, new market opportunities and creation of wealth.
In 2001, the Inquirer switched to using soy-based ink and recycled paper as part of their environmental advocacy to preserve which led to calling everyone, especially newspaper readers to recycle. With the fast and demanding requirement of a wired world and with the decline of newspaper readership, Inquirer has found a way to intensify news and information dissemination without harming the business by insisting to reflect the face of a Filipino populace, slowly turning electronic. Moreover, adapting to this kind of change, although will lead to the reduction of physical newspaper distribution; it can actually avoid tons of carbon emissions. The readership decline can be expressed as an environmental victory but it does not mean that Inquirer’s business is at stake. As a matter of fact, in this electronically mediated world, frictionless access to information is the norm which means that the company can lessen expensive cost for print publishing; win-win.
It is never easy to go green especially if we are used to living without having the thought that our lifestyle can ruin the environment. This leads to the fact that no matter how much we try to save the earth, we still don’t have the power or control over the damage. However, this does not mean that Inquirer’s efforts will be invalidated or will go to waste because studies show that reading the news online even for 10 to 30 minutes or using the tablet reader, resulted in lower CO2 emissions than reading a physical newspaper. Furthermore, even if the soy-based ink and recycled paper cannot totally stop environmental degradation, it can at least delay the detriment.
Inquirer’s goal of going green is not a battle of skipping the newspaper and saving the planet or harming the planet to keep the paper. It is actually both the environment and the information being at par with each other to maintain the balance in the society that demands to keep the two. And therefore, will actually result to saving the earth and at the same time, serving its people.

About theweeklysillimanian (1996 Articles)
Official student news publication of Silliman University.

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