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FLEXO Magazine : End of Year 2008
www.flexomag.com YEAR END 2008 Sustainable FLEXO On Oct. 2, an estimated 120 people participated in the Webinar "Green and Sustainable Printing: Your Roadmap to SGP Recognition." The event was hosted by the Flexographic Technical Association (F TA), Printing Industries of America, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association and National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM). Its purpose: to provide information about the SGP Partnership for those seeking information about how to become recognized as a Sustainable Green Printer. Doreen M. Monteleone, FTA director of EHS services and spe- cial projects, helped answer questions fielded by Webinar attendees. However, the 90-minute time allotment left many questions unan- swered. Some were addressed in FLEXO's December issue (page 16). In this, Part II of a three-part series, Monteleone and other presenters provide answers to those inquiries relating to resources for audit com- pliance and SGP's relationship to similar programs. Q: What is the "Sustainability Metrics System?" It appears that it is the metrics against which the printer's operation is measured to ensure compliance. Is there a copy available for review? The metrics are not a standard against which conformance to the program or compliance will be measured. The Sustainability Metrics are an internal benchmarking tool offered as a resource for SGP Printers. They identify a series of sustainability measure- ments such as VOCs, air toxics, energy use, water consumption, safety and health, waste generation etc. that the SGP Printer can use to benchmark the operation and track progress toward con- tinuous improvement goals. The metrics will be reviewed by the auditor, but they will not be required to be made public. The SGP metrics system is available to all registered SGP printers, awaiting verification. Q. What are the associations going to do to help the printers become registered? The associations have been working to develop resources for their memberships. Contact your specific association for details. In addition, the annual National Environmental, Health and Safety Conference focuses on sustainability. Visit www.nehsconference.org for details. Q: Do you have prototype documents for a small printer to work around in creating the documents required by the process? Yes. Each of the Partner associations has materials that can be used by their members to create the documents identified in the criteria. You need to contact the association that you belong to in order to access the information. Q: What is the difference between the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the SGP Partnership? Unlike FSC or SFI Chain of Custody Certification programs, the SGP Partnership program is a holistic approach to sustainability. Whereas FSC or SFI concentrates on the use of forest products, SGP looks at the entire print production process, the facility and grounds, and staffing and human resources. Consumers and print buyers are asking for printing companies to be truly sustainable and to have proof that they are sustainable businesses. Q: Are there other sustainability certification processes similar to yours? We are aware of a couple of programs in other countries such as France, Australia, and the Nordic areas, but are not aware of any in the U.S. or Canada. None of these programs are specific to the printing industry, but more general in their approach. Q: Does the SGP documentation have to be kept separate from ISO, FSC or environmental audit documents or can they be included with the documentation? They have to be accessible and readily identifiable as SGP. A lot of the same documents may be used, but they need to be kept or- ganized as they relate to the SGP Criteria. You can cross-reference other programs. Q: Is there a section or partnership available for vendors that have a product or service that can make a printer SGP certified? Since the primary focus of the SGP Partnership is on the print- ing facility and not a particular process or product vendors can participate in the program in one of two ways. The first is by be- coming an SGP Partnership Patron. This avenue will help provide financial support for the program and the vendor can use the SGP Partnership Patron logo in all communications and market- ing materials. Vendors can also help their customers who want to become or have already achieved SGP Partnership status by helping them with the development of their program and in the implementation of their required annual project. Q: What is the interest of the suppliers? The print supplier community is very interested in sustainabil- ity initiatives. All of them recognized the importance. This is not going to die out and continues to increase. Q: How can suppliers be part of the SGP Program? They can work on their own initiatives to develop sustainable products. They could also consider being a Patron of the SGP Partnership. More information can be found on the SGP website www.sgppartnership.org. n : Your Questions Answered Part II: Resources and Relationships