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FLEXO Magazine : April 2008
FTA TODAY Photos by Jeff Adrian Finding Greener Pathways NEHS Draws Record Numbers S etting the theme for the 2008 National Environmental, Health and Safety (NEHS) Conference was a given. "Green Pathways to Sustainability" offered insight to 235 attendees as to why it is more important than ever that print- ing and packaging companies develop a response to the new era of sustainability. Held on March 10-12 at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre in Indianapolis, IN, the event drew its largest number of attendees in years. NEHS '08 ran like a well-oiled machine. The March conference marks the 13th year it has been presented by the team of Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association (FFTA), Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF), Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA); and more recently, the Newspaper Association of America (NM). The conference chair, a rotating position among the associations, was Gary Jones, director ofEHS affairs at PIA/GATF. With support from 33 other printing-related as- sociations, the conference reached all print processes and related industries. NEHS '08 was much more than just lectures. It was comprised of two general sessions, eight breakout sessions, 20 round- table discussions, fourWAYWO (What Are You Working On?) gatherings, three net- working breaks, a resource safari, two break- fast briefings, two receptions, an awards luncheon and an optional training session. - FLEXO APR I L Attendees had the opportunity to interact with their peers on many levels. The goal was to provide valuable information that companies could utilize immediately. "The NEHS conference helps me to en- hance and update my knowledge of EHS practices through networking opportuni- ties, discussion roundtables, general and specific breakout sessions that are con- cerns of my company. It is a valuable aid to accomplish our goals here," commented Tim Gantley, plant safety coordinator for Southern Atlantic Label Co., Inc., a regular NEHS attendee. GENERAL SESSIONS Tuesday's general session included pre- sentations on The State of Sustainability in Graphic Communications by Mark DiVito, Reed Business Information, and Building Sustainability for all Stakeholders by Brian Shuttleworth, CSP, H.J. Heinz Co. They were followed by the annual "On the Radar Screen" updates by association staff. DiVito presented the results of seminal research into how sustainability has influenced the attitudes, decision making, and activi- ties of printing and packaging companies. As one of the most recognized food brands in the U.S., Heinz has promoted its commitment to social responsi- bility for some time. Suttleworth spoke about how, in 2007, his 2008 www.f I exog ra p hy.o rg firm ranked in the 50 most environmen- tally and socially responsible companies based upon seven criteria: sense of com- munity, corporate governance, diversity, employer relations, environment, human rights, and product. He continued with an inside look at the history, EHS principles, and sustainable initiatives that Heinz has implemented, including new expectations of its suppliers. The "On-the-Radar Screen" presenta- tions are given each year to let the indus- try know what's on the horizon. Jones, Doreen Monteleone (FFTA) and Jim Kyger (PIA/GATF) spoke to the areas of environ- ment, health and safety, human resources and legislative issues, respectively. Some of the highlights included the results of the new ozone non-attainment areas, em- ployer-paid personal protective equipment and the release of the ergonomics eTools. Wednesday's general session included a panel discussion about how printing facilities are moving forward with sustain- ability efforts and the much-anticipated