Recommendations for a more sustainable media production

In recent years, the Media Mundo Advisory Council for Sustainable Media Production has developed and published a number of guidance recommendations for sustainable media production. Here’s an overview of their results.

In recent years, the Media Mundo Advisory Council for Sustainable Media Production has developed and published a number of guidance recommendations for sustainable media production. The available recommendations are the result of a discussion in the Media Mundo Beirat, which advocates the introduction of best practice methods in media production. An overview:

Use of graphic papers

Paper is the basis for a major part of corporate communication. It has a wide variety of potential uses, and – simply due to its haptic effect – the potential for good customer communication inherent in this medium cannot be substituted by any equivalent. At the same time, the issue of using sustainable raw materials is increasingly on the agenda and increasingly plays a major role in the communication strategies of companies and even internationally.

While paper is a commodity – not least due to its opportunities for efficient recycling -, this does not mean that its production and transport are in line with the steadily growing demands for sustainable management. Numerous – and sometimes competing – eco-labels promise orientation, but mostly result in growing confusion because of their widely differing requirements and assessment criteria.

This creates a problem for deciders in communication departments, as there are no uniform and generally recognised standards. Those who rely on the wrong labels will run the risk that their investment in sustainability will produce an obviously negative impact instead of the desired positive effect.
Recommendations in German

Approach to climate compensated print production

This recommendation is intended to contribute to a more transparent and thus more effective approach with respect to climate compensated print production.
Sustainability in print production will only be realised, when all previous steps have been taken along the entire production chain to avoid harmful emissions, or – whenever this is not feasible – to reduce them as much as possible.

The mathematical compensation of unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions is always a last resort – this is one of the core statements in the current recommendation of the “Media Mundo Beirat für nachhaltige Medienproduktion” (Media Mundo Advisory Council for Sustainable Media Production).

As there are no generally applicable laws or standards for calculating the emissions generated during production, the Advisory Council‘s current preliminary recommendation goes towards internationally recognised principles such as laid down in the “Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard” of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development with respect to the emission inventories of individuals and corporations.
Recommendations in German

Green Logistics

Logistics are an essential element of business activities, and they result in high social benefits on the one hand and exact a high social price on the other. “Transporting resources and products consumes large quantities of fossil energies. In Germany, more than 15% of all CO2 emissions are caused only by road transport. This means that ecological and resource-sparing logistics are a valuable contribution to sustainable production”, explains Sven Wolter, a manager at Spedition Fahrner GmbH.

In its guidance recommendation on Green Logistics, the “Media Mundo Advisory Council for Sustainable Media Production” therefore focuses primarily on the long-term avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Avoiding, reducing and, if possible, compensating for harmful environmental effects are essential elements of sustainable logistics.
Recommendations in German

Use of printing inks in the sheetfed and web offset printing process

In its guidance recommendation for the “Use of printing inks in the sheetfed and web offset printing process”, the Media Mundo Advisory Council regards the non-use of mineral oils as well as the alternative of adding vegetable oils in production as the minimum requirement for ecologically meaningful printing inks free of health hazards. But in this context, it is also true that printing companies and media corporations can also do quite a few things to demonstrate their responsibility in procuring and using printing inks.
Recommendations in German


Saving energy is a core aspect of any sustainable development. This is why the “Energy” recommendation of the Media Mundo Advisory Council considers the economical use of energy – if possible as an absolute ratio of economic performance – to be the prime and most significant principle of any sustainable management. In addition, energy efficiency through process optimisation and a conversion to green power are also part of its agenda.
Recommendations in German

Sustainable communication design

Media production can only be sustainable, when the communication design, on which it is based, also lives up to this claim from the initial conception of an idea to the finished product. This means that design has a significant and responsible role to play. The Media Mundo Advisory Council‘s recommendation on “Sustainable communication design” includes concrete recommended actions for clients, designers, concept and media production specialists.

“It is technically feasible to reduce spoilage to almost zero. But unfortunately, our concepts still leave a lot to be desired. Design specialists can and must take charge at this juncture”, says Oliver Schuh, who is a member of the Media Mundo Advisory Council and one of the main drivers in developing this recommendation. The recommendation on “Sustainable production design” analyses the entire value chain in the design process and shows the most important factors on the way towards really good and therefore sustainable design.

Ideally, the process already starts in the conceptual phase and integrates all stakeholders. The recommendation advocates that all required skills and competences engage in an open and fair exchange at an early stage so that the necessary sustainable decisions will be taken.
Recommendations in German

About Media Mundo

On 17th and 18th November 20145, the 5th Media Mundo congress takes place in Dusseldorf. This year, the event will focus on the motto „rethink sustainability – economic motivation for sustainable media production“. Early booking discount is available until 20th September.

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