Veronica Heaven - MD of the company that runs the Brief Cases industry-into-education programme - wants you to get involveD in shaping environmental sustainability programmes for print. Should you?
Are enough young people getting into print? Do young people understand the possibilities and sustainability aspects of wide-format? Bringing talent to the attention of industry is a key aspect of Brief Cases - a model for co-operation between education and the world of work, and an initiative from sustainability communications consultancy The Heaven Company. Ring any bells? It should. This time last year we ran an article flagging up an invitation from its MD Veronica Heaven for large-format PSPs to get involved. Shamefully few did. If it didn’t grab your attention in 2018, maybe it will in 2019.
Brief Cases projects are underpinned by a message of sustainability with themes that strongly resonate for millennials and tomorrow’s designers - many of them expressing a sincere commitment to play a part in ‘saving the world’. As Heaven points out: “‘More plastic than fish’ is a haunting headline from the widely acclaimed ‘Blue Planet II’ TV series that has entered the psyche of households and businesses across Britain and further afield and new thinking is needed to find more sustainable ways forward for a whole raft of everyday products, including large-format printing options and substrates.”
Up to 1,000 students each year take on a Brief Cases project embedded as taught content in fulfilment of their degrees in graphic design and print related pathways.
Brief Cases university projects are identified to address skills gaps, business needs and areas where wider sustainability issues are emerging. Working with industry partners - which Heaven hopes will include large-format orientated PSPs - Brief Cases works with universities and their students to tackle a wide range of topics that include the use of print and printed substrates, such as:
- How to help consumers and households use less plastic by designing environmentally friendly bio-based alternatives
- Sustainable manufacturing in the drinks industry
- Entrepreneurial skills that will encourage start-ups to thrive and grow, and to play a part in supporting social good
- Exploring opportunities for young people as physical and digital realms converge with technological advances (3D printing, digital technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality etc).
“Print, paper and packaging are at the forefront of many environmental improvements. The industry statistics regarding the value of the print, pulp, paper and publishing as the UK’s fourth largest industry and its importance to the wider economy are well known, which makes it even more vital for printers with a pioneering spirit to play a part in educating the next generation of workers and in strengthening the role of print in an increasingly sustainability-focused world,” says Heaven.
“There is a growing belief that only businesses and manufacturing have the clout to make a difference and impact on many of the environmental challenges that the wider world is tackling today. COP24, the Climate Change conference in Katowice, Poland, at which David Attenborough spoke, has expressed that the greatest threat in thousands of years is climate change. The pertinent message is clear - global CO2 emissions reached an all-time high in 2018.”
Heaven continues: “Mediocrity is the enemy of ingenuity. Material choice and the processes used have a significant impact on lowering carbon impact and there needs to be a generation shift in ideas around materials and machinery.”
So, why should large-format PSPs get involved with Brief Cases, and what difference can they make to students considering the big issues of the day?
“Well much of it boils down to a simple theme - educating the young ones for more sustainable industries and businesses in the future,” argues Heaven. “Brand owners, end-users, retailers, local authorities, and other leading decision makers are plugged into the sustainability agenda whether for legislative, regulatory or personal conscience reasons and most want responsible supply lines and companies aligned with the ethos to make a change for the better.
“In the past year, these decision makers have become increasingly aware of Brief Cases and the societal and environmental values applied to every Brief Cases student project - and they recognise the industry partners who support positive environmental and social action.”
She adds: “Many brand-owners have underlined their interest in the unfettered thinking of students and are keen to find new ways to use print technology to business benefit as viewed through the lens of a younger demographic.
“Brief Cases students are problem solvers, learning their craft, and understanding what is possible with the technology available to realise their aims. Within a year of completing Brief Cases, students enter the world of work and are positioned in roles within or related to the industry. What they learn during their time at university is what they take with them into business.
“With foresight, and by helping shape tomorrow’s designers, workers and leaders can cultivate future customers and deliver advocates for the companies that support them during students’ learning years prior to their careers.”
In the year since Image Reports published its first piece on Brief Cases ( http://bit.ly/2BG8VSt ) to encourage wide-format PSP involvement, Heaven has taken the programme’s sustainable futures focus message out to a bigger audience, presenting at the likes of Ipex and Packaging Innovations shows. And winners and guests at The Solutions Awards were given first sight of the newest crop of talent and their innovative concepts, underscoring Brief Cases and The Heaven Company’s commitment to the print sector.
“Wide-format printing reaches the paths that some other print technologies dare not tread.
“Brief Cases industry engagement programme is there to support businesses that believe in the future of their industry and want to play a part in shaping it. The scheme is looking to attract at least three wide-format printers as project sponsors to help define student learning at universities across the UK,” stresses Heaven.
“Supporters are also welcome as an army of people that are positive about sustainability and the print sector could help Brief Cases programmes and modules at universities across the UK and encourage students to see the industry as a career path and sustainable sector for the future.”
If you are interested in talking about possible participation in Brief Cases as a project sponsor or supporter please make initial contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org