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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable EOY 2009
n e e mainstream corporate governance priorities among a growing number of companies that are dependent on print for the packaging, promotion and advertising of their products." Simply put, drupa says, "The graphic commu- nications industry is being challenged to reinvent and reconfigure its workflows and the lifecycle impacts of its offerings, in order to play a significant ongoing role providing essential services and benefits to business, government and society." Planners note, printing can represent 20 percent or more of every dollar spent by most corporations. They also say, "In response to initiatives from organizations such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, the Carbon Trust and the Climate Group, corpo- rate and publishing giants like Walmart and Procter & Gamble are beginning to press their supply chains to reduce their carbon footprints and reconfigure their products and services to measure, manage, report, verify and continuously improve their triple bottom line performance." Pressure to manage the sustainability and climate change impacts of supply chain practices is clearly on. As a result, vendor scorecards are being rewritten to put new environmental management, greenhouse-gas- emission, and sustainability reporting and veri- fication provisions in the RFP. drupa maintains, "Organizations such as the Institute for Supply Management;(ISI/www.ism.ws) and the Sustain- ability Purchasing Network (www.buysmartbc. com) have developed sustainable purchasing initiatives." Iincreasingly, printers in the U.S. are being asked to: • Measure, manage and report on the company 's environmental performance and carbon footprint. • Document time senior management spends guid- ing the company 's environmental performance strategy. • Indicate their company has attained or is seeking ISO 9002/ISO 14001 certification. • Cite environmental lifecycle impacts of the products and services that it buys. • Present strategies and tactics for continuous improve- ment required of suppliers in addressing climate change and sustainability. Speaking directly to the situation in North America, advice was rendered in concise fashion. Package printers were encouraged to embrace a three-prong multi-faceted strategy. Namely: • Shrink your carbon footprint or be prepared to pay for it • Print as if your life and the lives of future generations • depend on it • Optimize work processes for the sake of the planet. RIGHT STRATEGIES FOR ENVIRONMENT According to drupa 2012 planners, "Optimizing work processes is essential from a business perspective. Shorter chains of production, the cost-efficient handling of data streams and standardized communications are also the right strategy for the environment. "With JDF workflows (digital job tickets), printers can avoid breakdowns in communications between departments and misunderstandings resulting from job tickets completed by hand right from the outset. That way, the risks of delays and reprints can be reduced. What's more, presetting properties via intelligent networks that link all the equipment in the pro- duction chain helps to minimize set-up times. Even communi- cations between the printing service provider and customer hold potential savings. "Printers can save themselves a lot of trouble by providing agencies and customers with in-house PDF profiles so that print files supplied meet requirements. As a result, printers avoid repeatedly receiving large print files; and the use of storage media, such as CDs/DVDs. User-defined preflight profiles give customers a chance to check their own files for print readiness from early on." CLIMATE & CARBON "The U.S. government appears to be making up for lost time with the passage of a sweeping portfolio of legislation and regulatory reform that will radically change the costs associated with business as usual and create new incentives for the adoption of clean technologies, renewable resources, energy efficiency and greener low-carbon business prac- tices," drupa analysts surmise. Legislative and regulatory changes now forecast as being on the horizon include federal regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions and regulation of green marketing claims by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), the green printing report notes, "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed an endangerment ruling providing for the regulation of green house-gas emissions by the EPA, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed the landmark Ameri- can Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which will institute a federal cap and trade as well as require the U.S. to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions that can lead to climate change by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050." In addition to supply chain and legislative action on climate change, drupa analysts note, "The rapidly increasing number of brands making unsubstantiated and confusing 'green,' 'environmentally friendly,' 'sustainable' and 'carbon-neutral' product claims has caused concern on the part of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has recently conducted hearings and is expected to press for eco-labeling standards, increase its enforcement activities and issue a new and more stringent set of "Green Marketing Guidelines." Don Carli, senior research fellow at The Institute for Sus- tainable Communication (www.sustainablecommunication. org), states, "The new wave of green sweeping over busi- ness in the U.S. is the crescendo of a movement that has been underway for more than one decade, and there is ev- ery reason to believe this wave of change has yet to crest... There is overwhelming evidence that graphic arts vendors and suppliers operating in the U.S. will be required to develop an unprecedented new array of sustainable green innovations for the packaging of knowledge and goods over the next five years." www.flexomag.com END OF YEAR 2009 Sustainable FLEXO 11