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The Soap Box

Environment Tax Rise in Print

Brendan Perring listens to print’s most influential trade associations and bodies as they consider key industry challenges and the steps print companies can take to secure a successful future

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A global survey by Two Sides this year of 10.700 consumers revealed that 72 percent of respondents prefer to read a physical book compared to only 9 percent preferring e-books

Time to take note of the Climate Change Levy
Charles Jarrold,
chief executive officer,

While the printing industry has been on the Government’s list of energy intensive sectors for some time, which has allowed print businesses to make big savings through the BPIF’s Climate Change Levy Rebate Scheme, things are all set to change in 2019, where the Government will be raising this environment tax by 42 percent.

Companies already on the scheme can breathe a sigh of relief, but now is the time for those not benefiting from the 90 percent discount off the levy on electricity and 65 percent on gas (rising to 93 percent and 78 percent respectively in 2019) to get involved—before it is too late.

In the past, smaller companies may not have felt the savings were worth being part of the scheme once they have paid the fee for the service. However, with the new rise, it is worth their while thinking again, with companies only having until next year to start claiming the discount. If they are using an annual 1m kWh of electricity, they could be saving £7,877.10 per year by 2019. Of course for companies using more, the savings will increase.

If they are using an annual 1m kWh of electricity, they could be saving £7,877.10 per year by 2019

Commercial products manager, Steve Walker, said: “It is simple to find out whether your company will benefit, as the levy appears separately on your energy bills. Just look at your monthly electricity bill, identify the CCL charge, multiply this by twelve, and consider whether you want 90 percent of that figure in your bank account rather than the Government’s. This method also applies to your gas bills albeit at 65 percent discount.

“The whole process is surprisingly simple. There is no need to change your energy supplier, and the BPIF will support you throughout the whole process, ensuring you have everything you need to set your targets. It is a ‘no-risk’ situation, as you can simply walk away at any time.”

If companies want to investigate whether this voluntary scheme would benefit them, they can email a copy of their energy bill or annual consumption figures in kWh to steve.walker@bpif.org.uk, who will then be able to calculate their potential savings from the scheme.

The cost of the scheme starts at £1,185 pus VAT for a member company with a turnover of less than £10m.

Make your resolutions
Sidney Bobb,

It is now December and we are fast approaching the end of the year. This is a time when businesses tend to review what has happened since January and make plans for the future. Despite good intentions, more frequently than not we fail to achieve all our resolutions, but if we manage to accomplish some, then we are making progress.

All too often businesses, particularly those of a modest size, just drift along without setting goals and targets.
However, without focus and determination they have as much luck in achieving greater profitability and higher turnover as they do in winning the lottery.

Without focus and determination they have as much luck in achieving greater profitability and higher turnover as they do in winning the lottery

Creating targets does not need to be a massive task and there are a few simple initial suggestions for consideration that could make all the difference to your business.

Cash is king  With economic uncertainty it is vital that companies manage their cash flow more effectively and business owners should certainly take steps to really understand the day-to-day finances of the business.

Be more sociable  The impact of social media is growing and growing. Consider starting a business blog and through the various platforms build up your connections.

Improve focus How much time do you actually waste during the day? Are you frequently distracted from the job on hand and then wonder where the time went?

Charge what you are worth Do you often feel that you are underpaid and perhaps undervalued? If so, then take steps to ensure that you are charging the right price for your work. You may lose a few jobs but at least what you do will be profitable.

Grow your team and delegate more This does not mean adding extra staff but ensuring that everybody in the business is well trained in what they do and that you take steps to help their personal and professional development so that they can take on more responsibility and help the business move forward. Certainly, if you do need to build your team then seriously consider employing apprentices.

Improve communications Frequently there are issues with staff because of communication misunderstandings and this can affect company morale. Ensure that everybody in the business knows what is going on and that they are able to talk to you about anything.

Look in the mirror Take an honest look at your own skills, assess how they can be improved, and take steps to improve.

These few simple steps are relatively easy to achieve and could have an impact on your business. The BAPC and other trade bodies exist to help so if you need assistance, do reach out. In the meantime, on behalf of the BAPC we wish you a happy, successful, healthy, peaceful, and profitable new year.

Print and paper in a digital world
Tandy Wakeford,
events and membership manager,
Two Sides

Despite deep rooted fears that the iPad, Kindle, tablets, and bite-sized modules of e-learning would oust the faithful printed alternative, recent research from Two Sides has proven this wrong.

Findings from a global survey in June 2017 of 10,700 consumers evidenced that print still packs a punch and overall, remains the medium of choice when it comes to recreational reading. For example, 72 percent of respondents prefer to read a physical book compared to only 9 percent preferring e-books. Other studies have demonstrated that young people (the so-called digital natives) are the most passionate print readers, with sales of printed books rising and e-books falling.

72 percent of respondents prefer to read a physical book compared to only 9 percent preferring e-books

76 percent of respondents also iterated a fear of ‘fake news’ with only 24 percent believing what they read on social media. Print still commands a respect that digital cannot match.

The survey also revealed consumers have a negative perception of online advertising. 68 percent of global respondents say they do not pay attention to online adverts and 62 percent find them annoying and usually not relevant. 57 percent of global respondents do their best to block or avoid online adverts.

Despite the shift towards receiving digital communications, 89 percent of consumers believe they should have the right to choose how they receive communications (printed or electronically) from financial organisations and service providers, with a further 77 percent agreeing they should not be charged more for choosing paper bills and statements.

Overall, findings conclude that consumers trust, enjoy, and gain a deeper understanding of information read in print, with clear signs of digital fatigue.

Printers and print specialists should read up on the trends and findings of this research. Hopefully this will enable us to speak with confidence on the effectiveness of print and how it is a trusted and respected ally for brands. The full report can be accessed at www.twosides.info.

To find out more about the issues discussed in this article please contact the relevant organisation via their website: www.britishprint.com, www.bapc.co.uk, www.twosides.info, www.ipia.org.uk

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