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FLEXO Magazine : June2010
FTA TODAY 20 FLEXO june 2010 www.flexography.org Asa famous frog once said, “It’s not easy being green.” But what was meant in terms of (fake) skin color is also true of environmental inten- tions. Legal and logistic issues were the call of the day in the Sustainability Session, chaired by Colleen Twomey (MacDermid Printing Solutions) with co- chair Paul Kearn (Exopack). Watch your words! That was the message of Mark Hammond, repre- senting the law firm Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP. He warned attendees that the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) revised Green Guides will crack down on environmentally focused claims and assertions by companies. Regulation is needed, he argued, as most claims are such that can’t be confirmed with the five senses, or tested in a lab. Hammond insisted that companies ask themselves, “When you make a claim, can you back it up with reasonable scientific data?” He also informed attendees that they can and would be responsible for any claims they publicize, even if such claims are “passed down” from their suppliers. Derek McFarland of Sonoco Sustain- able Solutions then addressed the audience regarding his firm’s efforts to reduce waste and avoid contributing to landfills. The company took a four- pronged approach to the issue: • Identify cost avoidance opportunities. • Convert waste streams to revenue streams. • Provide summary reporting. • Work toward goal of “zero landfill.” • Ensure safe destruction of branded material. The result was a $450,000+ profit- ability improvement, built largely from avoiding waste hauling fees and generating revenue through recycling. The effort conserves 16 tons of plastic (reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 13.76 tons); 21,182 mature trees (equal to 262 million sheets of newspaper); 576,898gal. of oil (enough to heat and cool 2,856 homes for one year); and 5 million KWhrs of electricity (equal to the annual electricity needs for more than 425 homes). There’s more to sustainable packaging than just the packaging, claimed Nina Goodrich, an industry consultant on the topic. She began by polling listeners on whether or not cu- cumbers wrapped in plastic seemed like excess packaging. The majority agreed it was. Yet, she cautioned, cucumbers have a much larger footprint than the packaging, and that plastic extends the shelf life of the vegetable from 2 days to 14 days. She urged attendees to consider the process, package, product and distribution in their accounts of sustainability. Goodrich also touted the value of global corporate interests, noting that 51 of the 100 largest economies are actually global companies. Michelle Donohue of Global Packaging took the stage next to review her company ’s efforts to become SGP certified. SGP certification, she said, applies to all printers regardless of process or product, and applies to all processes under the roof—print, prepress, etc. Global’s first line of attack, she stated, was to examine existing SOPs to find where sustain- able practices could be inserted. These were then reviewed and revised. Next, the company set goals it could achieve. Donohue advised attendees to under promise and over de- liver. Some keys to their success included communicating all efforts to everyone in the plant, and reviewing and publishing any and all suggestions from all employees. Showcasing a new tool for evaluating the sustainability of various platemaking processes, Heather Barrett noted that “one size does not fit all.” The environmental footprint calcula- tor, she said, does not recommend one process over another, but instead provides perspective for the relative eco-friendli- ness. (See FLEXO April 2010, page 32.) n Green Giants Sustainability Session Showcases Successes, Tools and Words of Warning Hammond. McFarland. Goodrich. Donohue. Barrett. Capital benefits realized from waste cutting and increased recycling efforts at Sonoco. Thank You to the sponsors of FFTA’s 2010 Annual Forum & INFO*FLEX Exhibition. We couldn’t have done it without you! • Companies can be liable for claims that are passed down from suppliers. —Mark Hammond, Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP. • By cutting waste removal and boosting recycling- based revenue, Sonoco saw $450,000+ savings. — Derek McFarland, Sonoco Sustainable Solutions. • Consider the process, package, product and distribu- tion in accounts of sustainability. — Nina Goodrich. • SGP certification applies to all printers, regardless of process or product. —Michelle Donohue, Global Packaging. theDif ference! Experience FLX_June2010_mech.indd 20 6/10/10 9:38 AM