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High-quality, eco-friendly paper heralds new 'Print Better' era

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More than 2,300 respondents to a recent Stora Enso poll paint a picture of shifting priorities that put both quality and the environment center stage when choosing office paper. Is this the dawn of a new 'conscious printing' era – and, if so, what can companies and industries do to meet customers' demands?

A Stora Enso market study is a great way to measure emerging trends in the office paper market – it can help us assess what today and tomorrow's customers want, and it can also yield the occasional surprise, too.

Such was the case in our latest poll at the end of 2021, which revealed customer's priorities during the pandemic. Alongside price and availability, which have always been incredibly important purchase factors (in 2020, price ranked highest), the latest figures show that quality and sustainability are driving paper choices, too.

In fact, 72% of respondents said they would even be willing to pay more for higher quality and sustainability standards. 

Home printing drives demand

Demand for better, greener paper seems to have increased over the past year, a time when a large percentage of respondents were working from home. With many people having no choice but to use their home printers – which might not be up to office printer standards – for work, the need for a higher-quality paper has risen.

“Employees today have more control and freedom to choose paper for their home office use,” says Johan Ulriksson, Office Papers Marketing Manager at Multicopy. “During the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in online purchases. More employees buy their own office paper online where they can make an educated decision. We’ve seen this on a leading online platform, where our key product Multicopy Zero has a 60-70% conversion rate.”

When it comes to the rise in popularity of more sustainable paper, meanwhile, we can assume that this is a result of an overall increased societal awareness about the environment and the need for more planet-friendly products.

“There is an understanding that it’s you and me, here and now, who must make change,” says Ulriksson. “People start making larger demands not only on themselves – but also on their surroundings, on their employers, on products they buy. As a company or industry, it's getting harder to stand outside all of that ¬– and that's a good thing.”

Choosing the right office paper 

Perhaps the most important thing to do in order to improve printing behavior would be to make sure that the paper being used lives up to consumer standards as much as possible.

With high-quality paper, printouts will show a better result and longer durability, which in the long run will reduce unnecessary double prints due to bad copies – and decrease costs. The ColorLok label is one feature to look for to ensure professional results with vibrant colors and bold blacks. 

A good paper not only looks and feels good – it does it with the least possible impact on the planet. To make sure office paper lives up to sustainability standards, it is important to look for the right labels, such as the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and the EU Ecolabel.

“Our Multicopy products tick all the boxes,” says Ulriksson. “Not least our carbon neutral Multicopy Zero, referred to by Jonathan Bakewell, who is VP and Head of Segment Office and Book Paper at Stora Enso, as our ‘hero brand carbon offset premium printing paper that conforms to everything people say they want’. I couldn’t have said it better myself.”

Welcoming the 'Print Better' era 

As part of the Stora Enso aim to offer 100% regenerative products and solutions by 2050, Multicopy focuses on the impacts that we can have today – and how to ensure that our processes are as environmentally-friendly as possible. As with any other industry or company, the paper industry and those businesses that operate within it must conform to what both the market and the planet need. At Multicopy, meeting customers’ wishes is always the number one focus:

“It's about listening, staying attentive to changes and always looking for ways to improve – to make sure that we can offer what our customers are looking for,” Ulriksson explains. “And at the same time doing what we can to contribute to reducing climate impact. That’s in our interest as much as in our clients’.”

We call this the 'Print Better' era, and we're excited about the many possibilities it brings – both for us as a business, and for our clients, too. If customers want better, greener paper, then we are more than ready to deliver.