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Flexo Sustainable : Winter 2009
: Your Questions Answered Part iii: Certification Criteria Interested in learning more about becoming an Sustainable Green Printer, an estimated 120 people logged in for the Webinar “Green and Sustainable Printing: Your Roadmap to SGP Recognition.” The event, held on Oct. 2, was hosted by the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), Printing Industries of America, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association and National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM). Its purpose: to provide information about the SGP Partnership for those seeking information about how to become recognized as a Sustainable Green Printer. Doreen M. Monteleone, FTA director of EHS service and special projects, helped answer questions fielded by Webinar attendees. However, the 90-minute time allotment left many questions unanswered. In two previous articles, Monteleone and other presenters provide answers to those inquiries relating to the application and audit process (see FLEXO December, page 16), as well as resources for audit compliance and SGP’s relationship to similar programs (see Sustainable FLEXO Year End 2008 issue). This third and final installation will address questions relating to certification criteria. Q: What are the requirements of the SGP Partnership program? A: Regardless of the status being sought, there are several common criteria that need to be met. They include compliance with all applicable environmental, health and safety regulations, a sustainability policy, and embracing the Guiding Principles. The criteria for a SGP Printer builds upon the core criteria and require a Sustainability Management System (SMS), choosing and working on one improvement project annually, adopting the mandatory best management practices, and meeting the corporate social responsibility elements. Q: What is the difference in the criteria between the CPV and SGP levels? A: To enter the program and be listed on the SGP Partnership website as a CPV, a company needs to be in compliance and have a sustainability policy. It is not necessary to have an entire Sustainability Management System (SMS) in place. Registering as an SGP Printer is more involved. In addition to the CPV requirements, the printer must have a SMS in place and create an annual goal/project. After applying as an SGP printer, the facility is listed on the site as SGP Pending Verification. The 10 Sustainable FLEXO Winter 2009 facility must become fully verified within 60-90 days of the application being deemed complete. Once verified, then the facility is moved on the Web site from the “pending” list to the SGP Printer list with full company and contact information. Q: Why were environmental, health and safety compliance requirements incorporated into the criteria? A: For this to be a credible program, applicants must first be committed to being in compliance, because that means they’re committed to doing what’s right. The stakeholder group that developed the program was very clear in setting compliance as the program’s baseline. There are no universal compliance requirements, so the printer will need to meet the requirements established by their federal, local and state agencies. Q: Obtaining a regulatory permit can take a long period of time. Can you apply while your permit has not been issued? A: It depends on the permit you apply for. If you have administrative approval for your permit and it says you’re allowed to operate, then the answer is “yes.” If you are applying for a new permit, then you are not technically in compliance and can not move forward with the SGP program. If you have any questions regarding your specific situation, you can contact the SGP Partnership directly for a written determination (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to beginning an application. Q: Do your raw material (paper) suppliers or yourself need to be FSC or SFI certified for you to be considered a “Green” or SGP Printer? A: No. There is not a prerequisite for the printer or the printer’s supplier to be FSC, SFI, or PEFC Chain of Custody Certified to become either a CPV or a SGP Printer. Those programs only address the source of the fiber used to make paper and the printer’s paper handling system. They do not address how the paper is manufactured or how the particular print job is printed. The SGP Partnership takes a more holistic approach and addresses how the printed product is manufactured looking at the product, the process and the envelope and includes areas such as water use, waste generation, energy consumption, solvent use, recycling programs to name a few. www. f le xomag.com
End of Year 2008
Spring Summer 2009