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FLEXO Magazine : Sustainable Spring 2011
the scope of inclusion as defined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), a partnership between the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. For example, Scope 1 includes direct GHGs that are owned or controlled by the company, such as boilers, furnaces and vehicles; Scope 2 accounts for GHG emissions from the generation of purchased electric- ity consumed; and Scope 3 includes indirect emissions, such as transporta- tion of products. Whatever method the companies were using to calculate their carbon footprint or GHGs, the exercise gives them a baseline metric and some- thing they can strive to improve. CERTIFICATION From these results, it is evident that printers recognize the need to become more sustainable and have begun taking steps on their journeys to sustainability. But it is important that they are able to verify their efforts for their customers. A number of members have earned certifications or certificates from third parties, as shown in Figure 5. American Institute of Baking certifi- cates were obtained by printers to meet food packaging industry guidelines. ISO 9000, not a sustainability or green certification, was the next most com- mon certification. Certifications from Forest Stewardship Council, Sustain- able Forestry Initiative and Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) were all around 8 percent, followed by ISO 14000 at 5 percent. There are significant differences among certifications offered to the industry that help to demonstrate sustainability efforts. Some are more comprehensive than others. While all provide a means for printers to proclaim verification of the advancements they have made, only SGP certification takes a holistic approach that incorporates all areas of sustainability. Through a stakeholder development process, SGP was designed by members of the print- ing industry for all print processes in the U.S . and Canada. (See Table 1.) SGP requires an SMS and best man- agement practices in sustainability, not just the environment. It is not a single- attribute program addressing only ink or substrate. Instead, it incorporates the “product,” “process” and “envelope,” i.e . all input materials, the printing process and the surround- ing support system. An onsite audit is required, as is a con- tinuous improvement program. The SGP pro- gram helps to align printers with other sustainability-driven businesses, such as their customers. It establishes cred- ibility though a third party and provides a market differentiation that demonstrates how a company has made a commitment to sustainability. The SGP pro- gram also provides benefits for the print buyer. It streamlines the “green printing” procurement avenue. By providing an independent certification, it eliminates the need for the buyers to develop their own standards. Sustainability is deeply integrated into the printing industry and its sup- ply chain, and cannot be ignored. It is important to understand the concept, evaluate your situation and find ways to improve. Printers who do not try to become more sustainable will no longer be able to compete in today ’s greener market. Striving to become more sus- tainable makes good business sense, and the survey shows that our industry is heading in that direction. To obtain more information about SGP, visit sgppartnership.org. n About the Author: Doreen M. Monte- leone is director Environment Health & Safety, Membership and Special Projects at FTA. TAblE 1. Comparison of “green” certification programs. 6 Sustainable FLEXO SPRING 2011 www.flexography.org