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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Spring 2009
Q: What did the company do in order to determine its first steps for meeting SGP Printer certification criteria? Donohue: We downloaded the materials from the SGP website and used them to benchmark our processes. We as- sembled the existing environmental, quality, safety, recycling and energy use data. We posted an invitation to the entire company for anyone to join the committee. We shared the SGP materials with the committee and began working—con- firming existing data and processes, changing procedures where needed, brainstorwming improvements, listing ideas, etc. We chose goals and worked toward them outside the committee setting, reporting back to the whole group by email and in person as needed, and meeting quarterly. Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: lutely! What were those critical first steps? Donohue: We listed and audited existing practices, looking for opportunities for improvement. We used the list of Manda- tory Best Practices as a checklist, as well as the FTA In-Plant Environmental Assessment and a comprehensive safety checklist to benchmark our operations. We verified what we were doing, improved practices and employee training, and prioritized improvements for maximum impact. We partnered with vendors to explore reuse and recycling opportunities. What other aspect of your business and operations did you have to modify in order to meet the criteria for SGP Printer certification? Donohue: We revised some procedures and documenta- tion and increased employee training and communications about sustainability. In many cases we found that we were documenting procedures and processes already in place. How long did it take to establish your Sustainable Management Policy? Can you loosely summarize the policy? Donohue: A few days. We used our existing EMS and the EPA IEMA as guides. Our sustainability policy is on our Web site sustainability page, located at www.glopkg.com. Was anything flagged in the desktop audit as needing to be addressed before the in-plant audit? Donohue: There were a couple of suggestions about how we documented our goal and how we would measure and report on our progress toward the goal. When the day of the final in-plant audit arrived, were you and other person- nel nervous or concerned that you would not pass? Donohue: Abso- Q: Q: Q: Q: Once you found out you had achieved SGP certifica- tion, what was your feeling? Donohue: We were elated. It was a team effort throughout the organization and we’re so proud to be certified. Overall, how big an impact would you say the effort has had on your operations? Donohue: It has helped us focus on areas where improve- ments could yield significant environmental, safety and economic benefits. It has provided another benchmark for performance and renewed our efforts to continually improve. The audit process uncovered a few areas to think about things a little differently. Did you, at any point during or after your efforts, discuss your actions with customers and potential customers? If so, what was their reaction? Donohue: Yes! Sales and customer service spoke with cus- tomers during our process and after we achieved certifica- tion. We have been pleasantly surprised at the support from our customer base. We enhance their sustainability programs through our efforts. Was it easy or difficult to get employees to comply with the tasks associated with achieving certification? Why would you say that is? Donohue: Employees have been eager to participate and have offered great ideas and the follow through to achieve the ideas. Our employees know we value their input, that they often have the best ideas because of the work they perform day to day. Training and communication on all shifts in all departments is a key to success in changing practices. It’s an ongoing process. Q: Q: How does Global plan to use the "Printed by an SGP Printer" logo? Donohue: We plan to print the logo on bags as customers choose that option. We printed bags for INFO*FLEX 2009 with the logo. The other SGP logos we plan to use on customer communications and on printed business materials. Many say that sustainability is a journey, not a des- tination. Given that, do you have any other green or sustainability-related goals on the horizon? Donohue: We are planning a 30,000sq.ft. expansion and designing it with sustainability in mind. We are examining energy use, landscaping reuse, hazardous waste minimiza- tion, chemical handling, VOC destruction and many other manufacturing, safety and environmental initiatives as part of the expansion process. We are working with suppliers to develop recycling programs for items we’ve not previously recycled. We’re expanding take-back programs and reduc- ing raw material inputs through unique practices. Employee involvement is expected to continue to grow and help drive projects and successes. n 8 Su s t a i n a b l e F LEXO S P R ING/SUMME R 20 0 9 www. f l e x oma g . c om