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 Sustainable : Spring 2012
Responses include certifications customers were ask- ing for, what printers currently held and what printers were considering. Although not typically considered a sustainability program, ISO 9000 certification was by far most asked for and held. It is also the oldest program available. The second most requested certification was FSC. This pro- gram, along with SFI, has been in existence nearly 20 years and would not apply to printers using non-paper substrates. Between FSC and SFI certifications, more than 50 percent indicated that their customers were asking about it, more than 36 held the certifications, and less than 9 percent are considering the certification. Almost 20 percent of customers were asking printers about ISO 14001 certi- fication. Just over 10 percent of printers hold the certification and 11.4 percent are considering it. More than 25 percent of customers inquired if the printers were GFSI (SQF)- certified. This certification would be applicable to flexible packaging facili- ties printing food packaging. When only including responses by flexible packaging printers, more than 38 percent reported their customers were asking about it, 21.6 held GFSI and 23.1 percent were considering it. The trends were different for both SGP and LIFE, which are newer developed certification programs. Currently, 8 .2 percent of customers were asking about SGP, more than 9 percent of printers hold the certification and nearly 13 percent are consid- ering it. For LIFE certification, just over 4 percent of customers were asking for it and just over 4 percent of printers hold the certification. About 10 percent of printers are considering it. To a much lesser extent, the 14-year-old LEED certification program is being used. All responses to this question were less than 3 percent. As LEED applies to the building structure, a printer leasing space may not have the ability to implement LEED criteria. By combining the percentage of printers holding certifica- tions and those considering obtaining certifications, a clearer picture of the future of certification programs can be seen. It shows more than 50 percent of flexo printers may obtain ISO 9000 certification and between 20 and 30 percent will hold GFSI, FSC, SGP and ISO 14001. When just considering flexible packaging printers, GFSI would fall around 45 percent, as it is a more relevant certification for package printers. LIFE , which is exclusive to label printers and members of the Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute (TLMI), would be just over 26 percent. It appears that newer certification programs, especially those that address the need to be more sustainable in a comprehensive way, may become more widely adopted than other more narrowly focused but established programs. Printers may opt for one paper certification program, SFI or FSC, but also are understanding that being sustainable goes beyond the substrate. To be truly sustainable a printer must take a more holistic approach. The responses to this survey are based on the current pressures and knowledge of certification program benefits. Recently, the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership released a video of an adidas representative stating that the sporting goods giant prefers printers with SGP certification. As more print buyers endorse SGP or other programs certifications will be required to remain competitive. Whatever certification(s) a facility chooses, it needs to be sure it will provide the greatest value to the facility. Not only should a certification allow the business to be more competi- tive by meeting the demands of the customer, it needs to be a program that will aid the facility in finding ways to become a more sustainable business. This should include reducing energy and water use, minimizing regulatory burdens ensur- ing worker safety and compliance with the law, among other things. Certifying those efforts by a third-party program will validate efforts and can provide a competitive edge in an era where sustainability is expected throughout the supply chain. As additional interpretations of this data may be pos- sible, FTA invites readers to discuss the results presented in this article on its LinkedIn subgroup – Sustainable Green Printing for Flexo Printers: http://www.linkedin.com/ groups?gid=2111921&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr. n About the Author: Doreen Monteleone is the Director of Mem- bership, EHS & Special Projects for the Flexographic Techni- cal Association. www.flexomag.com spring 2012 Sustainable FLEXO 15
Year End 2011