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FLEXO Magazine : December 2011
FTA TODAY SGP Partnership Update Three Years and Counting The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, also known as SGP, marked its third anniversary in 2011. Today, the organization offers the only holistic sustainability cer- tification program for all print processes in the United States and Canada. SGP enjoys non-profit status and is dedicated to establishing a benchmark for sustainability, based on a publicly reviewed set of criteria and third-party certification for best practices in sustainability. It allows printers to validate their sustainability efforts to their customers, by providing printing companies an oppor- tunity to demonstrate their sustainability efforts and receive recognition for their actions and accomplishments. Spearheaded by three major printing organizations, Flexo - graphic Technical Association, Printing Industries of America and Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, along with the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers, SGP is an independent certification body with an active board of direc- tors representing the entire print community. The board works diligently to ensure the program’s growth and continued suc- cess. SGP has expanded and revised the certification criteria, increased funding, formed a variety of alliances, and is in the midst of a new marketing program designed to communi- cate the value of the program to a wide variety of businesses involved in printing as well as print customers. Perhaps the most significant indication of the progress of the SGP partnership is the ever increasing number of certi- fied facilities, now nearly 40. SGP has been steadily growing despite fluctuations in the global economy. As the number and geographic range of certified facilities has increased, so have the types of certified facilities. SGP certified facilities in- clude companies dedicated to flexography, offset lithography, screen printing and large format digital printing. SGP certification is a rigorous process in which a facility must conform to certification criteria and undergo a third-party onsite audit. It addresses a facility ’s continuous commitment to sustainability, including aspects such as raw materials, ven- dors, customers, operations, buildings, transportation, energy use, and grounds and maintenance, as well as requiring a sustainability policy and sustainability management system. In the process of achieving certification, SGP certified facili- ties have completed a variety of annual continuous improve- ment projects, including: lowering the amount of hazardous waste generated onsite, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, increasing energy efficiency, reducing VOC emis- sions, reducing rework, and increasing recycling. FLEXO’S CERTIFIED PRINTERS In the past year, three flexo printers were certified adding to the nearly 40 printers and five other flexo printers that have been SGP certified thus far. PolyCello in Amherst, NS, the first Canadian and two locations of Plastic Packaging, Hickory and Forest City, NC, were certified this year. A number of other flexo facilities are going through the process and will be certified in the near future. “Many of our customers are increasingly focusing on sus- tainability initiatives and certifications. It is important to them CULTURAL SHIFT & SUSTAINABILITY LANDSCAPE • 8 flexo printers certified to date; 3 this year • Reducing environmental footprint provides financial dividends • Sustainability means “efficiency” and efficiency is good business • Pursuing certification increases awareness of issues and opportunities • SGP serves to facilitate certification for graphic com- munication providers dedicated to sustainability SGP Certified Printer and FTA Member C-P Flexible Packaging. 56 FLEXO DeCeMber 2011 www.flexography.org