Sustainable Green Printing Partnership Formed
The Board of Directors of the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF), Sewickley, Pa., passed a major key initiative concerning sustainability. As a result, PIA/GATF has joined with the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) to form one central location for information on sustainable, “green” printing activities.
Within the printing industry, the importance placed on the level of a company’s environmental friendliness has increased dramatically. Many printers are facing a growing number of inquires regarding sustainable printing practices. According to a recent survey conducted by PIA/GATF, more than 90 percent of printers believe their customers will require “green” printing in the future. In an effort to assist the printing community in this push for sustainability, PIA/GATF and its partners have established the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP Partnership).
The SGP Partnership is comprised of volunteer print leaders and other key players from each of the three associations. The project is being led by Gary Jones, director of environmental health and safety affairs for PIA/GATF. “Mr. Jones is known as an expert in his field and works extensively with various government agencies on environmental health and safety issues,” said Michael Makin, president and CEO of PIA/GATF.
Sustainability is defined as the method of using a natural resource so that it is not depleted or permanently damaged. within the printing industry, there are three key sustainability issues to consider when determining a printer’s overall environmental impact:
1. The materials used to create the product (ink, paper, adhesives, etc.).
2. The manufacturing process
3. The support system surrounding products and manufacturing, such as the building, energy consumption, employees and other activities, including solid waste removal and transportation.
The SGP Partnership plans on establishing sustainable printing criteria and a guidance document on how to implement a program to meet them. In addition, a national registry will be established by the SGP Partnership identifying companies that meet the set criteria. The registry will allow printing customers the ability to identify “green” printers in their areas. The national registry will be housed on the SGP Partnership website, which will serve both printers and their customers.