The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP Partnership), Pittsburgh, was established by three founding organizations—Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF), Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Flexographic Technical Association (FTA)—as an independent third-party verification organization. Its website, www.sgppartnership.org, serves as a central location for information on recognized “green” printers and sustainable printing activities.
On March 12, the organization revealed the much anticipated draft criteria on how to become a sustainable, green printer at the National Environmental Health and Safety Conference in Indianapolis (www.nehsconference.org). The criteria will be beta tested during the upcoming months, and necessary modifications will be made prior to the registry launch this summer. SGP Partnership has set up a comment section on the website, and is encouraging the printing community and other interested parties to provide feedback on the criteria.
As new techniques and technologies emerge, the criteria will expand and evolve, and new program requirements will be developed and implemented every two years with input from a technical advisory committee. As for the current criteria, the pertinent issues are summarized here, but complete information is available in a 13-page document posted on the website.
The SGP Partnership describes the role of sustainability in the printing industry by use of the following three terms:
1. Product—The finished goods manufactured by the printer, including design aspects, as well as input material management, required to create a product
2. Process—All manufacturing steps—such as prepress, press and postpress—involved with converting raw materials into a finished product, as well as process by-products, including sold wastes, air pollution and wastewater, having an environmental, health and safety impact
3. Envelope—All manufacturing support activities, including the employees, grounds, utilities and other functions at an individual site.
Any printer, whether or not a member of an association, is eligible to apply for registration with SGP Partnership. Companies with multiple locations must seek recognition for each site separately.