How environmentally friendly is digital signage?

21 Feb 2020

When it comes to promotional signage, there are many hidden benefits to ‘going digital’. While the brand recognition and flexibility of a digital sign is vastly superior to its analogue, print-based alternative, it’s also more environmentally-friendly.

With green business practices working their way to the top of the agenda, we’ve decided to underline just how much more efficient and eco-friendly your business could be if you swapped out print signs for a digital solution


The average UK household produces over a tonne of waste every year and print marketing always eventually ends up in the rubbish. Whilst recycling does help out a little, utilising a digital sign that can be used over and over again with a variety of different images and campaigns is the far more sustainable option. 

Print methods also mean more trees need to be culled and then there are the logistics involved in transportation. By installing one digital LED window display, instead of hanging up a new banner or poster every week, you could potentially cut down on a significant amount of waste.

To give you some idea of the potential waste that print-based advertising solutions can entail. Here are a few sobering statistics:-

  • One UK office employee consumes 10,000 sheets of paper every year on average and more than three-quarters of that ends up going to waste.
  • Everyone in the UK wastes an average of 4.48 trees per year.
  • 40% of UK workers still use paper-based communication.


The naysayers will point to the energy usage of digital signage, which will admittedly contribute to the carbon footprint of your business. However, the energy-draining CRT monitors that were once used have been replaced by more efficient LED screens that not only outlast the older models by decades but require far less electricity to operate. 

Some modern digital LED signs, such as the transparent LED screens offered by Spectra, will also be able to adjust brightness levels so that it’s brighter at night and using less energy during the day. 

Also, be aware that LED displays typically have a longer lifespan than their LCD alternatives and use less energy, though energy consumption will still always depend on the size of the display too.

Keeping it simple

With the advent of touch controls, many organisations have been tempted by this bold new technological marvel. However, a touch-screen sign will use significantly more energy than a simple LED sign, as they need more juice to be able to process the touch information. 

So, while touch-screens might provide a welcome distraction, you’re always better off keeping it simple from an environmental perspective. Besides, your customers will all have touch-screens on the phones in their pockets anyway!

Quality over quantity

A well-built outdoor LED screen should be able to withstand the elements, which includes being exposed to extreme levels of heat and cold. As long as you only opt for distal signage that is well-made and is installed by a team that knows what they’re doing then it should give you years and even decades of use. When compared to the few days or few weeks of use you might get out of printed material, that’s certainly a noticeable difference.

When it comes to reducing the environmental impact of your organisation, replacing printed materials with digital signage can represent a major step forward. 

Considering that your customers and employees will be thinking more and more about the environment in 2020, it’s vital that you change with the times and going 100% digital with your signage is a wonderful place to start.

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