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The Institute for Sustainable Communication, (ISC), was founded in 2003[1] and is a non-profit organization that is devoted to sustainability through the printing, digital media and advertising industries. [2] These fields are known together as Graphic Communication. ISC prepares graphic communication leaders to advance their businesses with sustainable innovations. This helps in generating jobs that not only satisfy the customer, but are environmentally friendly as well. ISC has developed three programs that assist in broadening the use of sustainable business methods: fellowship and mentoring, research and consulting, and education and outreach. ISC is an advocate for transforming businesses into organizations that decrease the cost and environmental impact of business media.[3]



The Institute for Sustainable Communication provides consultation services to existing graphic communication businesses interested in generating new jobs, becoming trained in new industry skills, and improving their carbon footprint on the environment. A company's carbon footprint is determined by the effect of human effect on the environment through green house gasses, paper waste, and pollution of volatile organic compounds found in inks. The footprint is measured in units of carbon dioxide. Through these consultations, ISC provides a variety of evaluation reports for graphic communication businesses, guiding them in becoming more environmentally friendly. [4]



The ISC observed 37 print projects consisting of 540,000 printed pieces. These printed articles were supplied by American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) from June 2004 to May 2005. ISC also created an online survey by which they collected data regarding print-related issues. Sixty-five AIGA chapter leaders, members, and vendor representatives completed these surveys. ISC found that if AIGA was able to reduce heavy weight and high volume book projects, they would be able to greatly reduce energy and resource consumption.

Piper Jaffray REP Report

In August 2004, Piper Jaffray Companies invited ISC to help find a solution for reducing waste, cost and environmental impact. ISC created the REP Pilot Program for PJC, which consisted of providing customers with sustainable practices in the printing, publishing, and packaging industries.

AIGA Print Design and Environmental Responsibility Report

The Institute for Sustainable Communication teamed up with the American Institute of Graphic Arts in order to develop a guide to sustainable business practices. The guide is titled "Print Design and Environmental Responsibility," and it helps designers reduce the impact of design on the environment.[5]


The Business of Green Media

On January 24, 2008, the Institute for Sustainable Communication participated at SustainCommWorld’s 'Green Media Show at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo'Cal Poly San Luis Obispo The conference gave the members of the graphic arts department the opportunity to become acquainted with new technology and business practices that will inspire companies to produce their product in a more sustainable way. The presentation included venues for all types of media, from printers and publishers to educators and students. Presentations included key concepts of making business sustainable, tracking the economic “footprint” of communication media, and pushing the government and major industries to include sustainable measures in their business plans. In order to reduce the pressure that the graphic communication industry puts on the environment, companies across the world will need to adopt new programs for energy use, as well as alternative production materials. Also, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act has put more pressure on printers to develop new ways to go about business and to be leaders of innovation throughout the world. [6].

The Green Media Show

Institute for Sustainable Communication was the "founding sponsor" of the GreenMedia Show Boston, Massachusetts, On October 1-2, 2008, “Special Events.” [7].


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions." Sustainable Advertising Partnership. 2007. 3 March 2008. <>.
  2. ^ "Institute for Sustainable Communication." Green Pages. 08 October 2007. 25 February 2008. <>.
  3. ^ "Institute for Sustainable Communication." SustainComm. 2008. 25 February 2008. <>.
  4. ^ "What Is a Carbon Footprint?" Carbon Footprint. 2008. 3 March 2008. <>.
  5. ^ "Print Design and Environmental Responsibility." AIGA. 29 February 2008. <>.
  6. ^ “The Business of Green Media.” The Business of Green Media Conference. 2007. 20 February 2008. <>
  7. ^>.


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