The response to the #Inconceivable video by zipcon and the Initiative Online Print has been great, and not just within Germany, but internationally. One person who wanted to discuss the background of the opposition campaign to Rewe’s commercial in more detail is Morten Reitoft from Inkish TV. The conversation between him and Bernd Zipper is about greenwashing, accurate facts, the industry’s sustainability efforts, and whether other supermarket chains might be more likely to follow Rewe’s lead in the future – or instead rely even more on print.
Anyone who knows Bernd Zipper knows that he loves print. But he also loves digital. The commercial that Rewe used to justify its decision to discontinue the printed brochure, however, made him angry – as it probably did most print shops. The clip paints a picture that is not true: digital is “good” and print is “evil.
But firstly, the world is neither black nor white, but full of shades of gray in between – and secondly, it is not appropriate to justify one’s own actions by portraying an entire industry as an ecological bogeyman. What’s interesting about the supermarket chain’s commercial is not least what it doesn’t say: Namely, that digital media cause more CO2 emissions in percentage terms than printed products – and that the other brands in the Rewe Group continue to rely on printed brochures.
The discussion between Morten Reitoft and Bernd Zipper is therefore not just about getting the facts right, it’s also about a paradox: because in Germany in particular – according to Morten’s outside view as a Dane – so much more is being done for sustainability compared to many other countries: starting with the above-average use of recovered paper, the high recycling and waste separation rate, and the expansion of green electricity. Of course, they both agree that this does not mean that print is automatically “green”. Here, too, resources and raw materials are consumed, but a difference can actually be made in this area through compensation programs.
Morten’s question as to whether other supermarket chains could follow Rewe’s example in the future and also discontinue printed product communication – or, on the other hand, even rely more on print in order to increase their own market presence – is also exciting.
It’s definitely worth clicking through to the interview. Especially because it’s not a black and white situation. The #undenkbar campaign is a plea for print, but not just that. The video clip explains that digital and print bring the greatest benefits when they are properly combined and people can decide for themselves which channel they want to use to receive their information. Consciously or unconsciously excluding large sections of a society by shifting the hurdle of obtaining information completely to the digital world is therefore also associated with a risk.
The complete interview, including the critical questions, for example about the proportion of non-recyclable print products, can be seen here: