What is Sustainability?
The Earth is a large eco-system that relies on all its single components to work together to create equilibrium. If we take something away, such as a forest or fresh water, we interrupt the balance, and when things start to go wrong, feedback effects can occur that can be irreversible – such as climate change or species extinction.
Sustainability enables the continuity of life on Earth as we know it for future generations to enjoy.
This means achieving a reduction of carbon emissions and the promotion of general wellbeing, social equality and ecological harmony in an increasingly globalised world. Green Graphic Design, Sustainable Graphic Design or Eco Graphic Design is a form of design practice that follows a specific philosophy, policies and guidelines that will ideally help humans to achieve this. This kind of Graphic Design is becoming more commercially accepted as governments and organisations are recognising the financial, social and environmental costs of not acting upon this issue. This translates into the need for these organisations to adopt a greener marketing and design strategy.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Graphic Designers are well placed to influence change. They create engaging and powerful visual communications that seek to help people understand the meaning of products, services, environments, interactions, people and everything in-between. For this reason I seek to create only meaningful, engaging, honest and ecologically considerate work in order to ensure the correct messages are being communicated.
SUSTAINABLE GRAPHIC DESIGN POLICY
I have pledged to take the following professional action to help support my sustainability goal:
- Consider waste, pollution, energy consumption, and health implications in the decisions made throughout the design process.
- Follow the specific practices listed in my eco-graphic design guide for every project where possible, and educate clients on the benefits of these practices in order to obtain a greater uptake of ecological preferences per job.
- Actively educate myself on environmental and social issues and practices through research and experience. See my list of green design resources.
- Employ my sustainability mission in my daily office practices, supporting ecologically sound design, purchasing green products, and otherwise conserving energy and resources.
- Help create market demand for sustainable design by asking vendors to provide a larger range of environmentally sound products to increase accessibility.
- Become involved in environmental and social initiatives and share my knowledge and experience with others. See my list of initiatives here.
- As my business grows, continue to set new benchmarks for achieving greater sustainability through waste reduction, energy consumption and sourcing of greener materials, papers and suppliers.