by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
FLEXO Magazine : March 2008
www.flexography.org MARCH 2008 FLEXO 63 FTA TODAY U.S. EPA's Common Sense Initiative (CSI) and Design for the Environment (DfE), commenting on federal and state regula- tions; the list goes on and on. We're often referred to as the "three musketeers" because of our collaborative efforts. We work together to present a unified force representing the significantly large printing industry. As all of our members are facing sustain- ability pressures, which are raising sustainability-related ques- tions and issues, it was natural to tackle this initiative together. As one person told us, "Printers need a premier authority to bring order to green chaos." They need to understand what a "sustain- able green printer" is and how they can be recognized as such... thus the birth of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP Partnership). Each of our associations receives phone calls and emails every day from printer members asking how to be recognized as a sustainable green business. According to a recent survey by PIA/ GATF, more than 90 percent of printers believe their customers will require "green" printing in the future. The need for a rec- ognition program is plainly obvious. It is our vision to create a program that establishes the print and graphic communications industry as a leader in the adoption and promotion of sus- tainable business practices designed to reduce our global en- vironmental impact. The three found- ing associations brainstormed and developed a pro- posed framework for the SGP Partnership with a clear mission: "To encourage and promote participation in the worldwide movement to achieve economic, social and environmental success of the graphic communications industry through sustainable green printing practices." The initiative was announced in Sept. 2007 at a press conference at Graph Expo. A formidable task is ahead of us. We set the goal for the SGP Partnership to define sustainable green printing and identify steps that help the printing industry to establish manufacturing practices and products that are more environmentally sustain- able. Thus, initially we are focusing on the environmental prong of sustainability. In addition to being a "green" printer, this serves as the foundation for a broader sustainability initiative that also encompasses social and economic elements. A clear goal of the SGP Partnership is to create a transparent, credible registry of printing facilities recognized for their green or sustainability efforts. FTA, PIA/GATF and SGIA agreed to work together to create one central location for information on sus- tainable printing activities and give additional recognition to the printers, by being able to provide a list of participants. The cen- tral location serves to avoid duplicative and confusing standards and provides a single source to the printing facilities that employ cross platforms, integrating more than one print process into their operational mix. The website www.sgppartnership.org was launched as the hub for information. The initial proposed framework was developed, but we recog- nized that we required additional buy-in from all stakeholders to ensure credibility and avoid criticism. The formation of a stake- holder group was vital to the structure of the SGP Partnership as it allowed for the formation of a program that addresses the needs from a wide variety of perspectives. The stakeholders pro- vide guidance on the scope, direction, criteria and other essential elements of the program. The SGP stakeholder group includes representatives from all print processes, consumer products companies, print buyers, environmental groups, federal and state environmental regulatory agencies, suppliers, and the three founding associations. THE COMPLETE PICTURE The SGP Partnership's first stakeholder meeting was held on Nov. 26-27, 2007 in Arlington, VA. The meeting focused on gath- ering information and exchanging ideas regarding how the SGP Partnership should be organized and administered. At that time, the group opted not to spend time debat- ing the definition of sustainability, but to look at the concepts and how to apply them to the print- ing industry. They agreed that, in the broadest sense, sus- tainable green print- ing practices would not solely be those relating to environmental issues, but would also cover the economic and social components of sustainability. Collectively, these three pillars of sustainability are sometimes referred to as the triple bottom line. Some organizations use the phrase "people, planet, and profit" to summarize this approach to sustainability thinking. The Stakeholders identified success for the SGP Partnership as: The establishment of the SGP Partnership as the premier authority on sustainability in the printing industry. The ability to serve as the portal for the industry and include industry best practices with product criteria. Recognition criteria that are structured to provide for con- tinuous growth, improvement and innovation. The ability to provide alignment with the supply chain to both support the development of sustainable products and drive sustainability across the value chain. The Stakeholder Group identified a number of key obstacles to overcome including a lack of clear definitions of terms and the establishment of SGP Partnership program's credibility in the industry as well as the general marketplace. In order to over-