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New survey signals recovery in printing paper; quality and carbon neutrality important

Paper Solutions

During 2020 and early 2021, the pandemic driven shift to stay at home work, where people print less, brought a dip in demand for office paper. Now, a new survey commissioned by Stora Enso indicates an expected recovery for office printing paper.

‘This is good news for the industry,’ said Stora Enso’s Jonathan Bakewell, vice president, head of segment office and book papers, ‘but we also set out to ask some broader questions about printing behaviour and preferences and what going back to the office would really look like for people.’

The survey, which was rolled out to 3400 people across Sweden, the UK, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, showed that a return to the office is underway now, with 35% of respondents saying they have already returned and a further 51% expecting to return soon. But they will not be going back to the five day week. The preferred mix (33%) was for three days at the office and two days at home, while 14% aren’t planning to return to the office at all.

Respondents on average said they print 32% more at the office than at home, even though 65% did have a printer at home. Some 28% said they printed less at home because the cost of printing wasn’t covered by their employer. But even though people printed less, a surprising 79% of respondents who went out and bought a home printer during the pandemic, believe they became more productive in their work because of it. Moreover, a majority of respondents (70%) indicated a willingness to pay a premium for paper with a higher sustainability performance. People were also more interested in the print quality of their paper.

‘Now, as stay at home work becomes more formalised, people are also feeling more empowered to set their own purchasing criteria, and their preferences have changed,’ Jonathan said. ‘While cost and convenience still come first, respondents said they were now more concerned about sustainability than they were a year ago, with carbon neutrality cited as the number one criterion. With print quality and carbon impact coming out on top, Stora Enso’s flagship office product, Multicopy Zero, is ticking all the boxes when it comes to consumer needs.’


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