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Flexo Sustainable : Summer 2012
ment that is demanding less material and energy usage and an improved carbon footprint. Self-adhesive labels can help in this pursuit, contributing unrivaled versatility and shelf ap- peal. They are rightly major participants in the broad global packaging industry agenda committed to developing truly sustainable solutions, in partnership with contract packers, the brand owners, and retailers. ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES This in itself may not sound like a major set of challenges – but, again, the value chain is complex, and there is a proliferation of environmental initiatives in the broad print/ packaging-manufacturing context, at many levels. There are the environmental management systems like ISO 14001, Lean Six Sigma, and the U.S.- based Tag and Label Manufacturers Institute’s (TLMI) association-specific LIFE system (Label Ini- tiative For the Environment). SGP (Sustainable Green Printing Partnership) takes a more holistic approach and certifies all types of printing facilities in the U.S ., Canada and Australia, against sustainability criteria encompassing environmental, health, safety and social aspects. Certification to environ- mental sourcing standards – like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) and PEFC (Pro- gramme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) for paper – are other possible pathways, but only apply to a single attribute. Brand owners’ and end users’ own environmental standards for their suppliers, like the Wal-Mart Supplier Sus- tainability Assessment, add further complexity. While the raw material suppliers and the major coater/ laminators represent, in the main, manufacturers at a global scale, the self-adhesive label converters themselves are mostly small-to-medium-sized enterprises for who such ad- ditional agendas are difficult to support. Nevertheless, FINAT member companies across the value chain are, individually, actively delivering technology solutions to reduce waste all round and improve their carbon footprint; to be REACH-com- www.flexomag.com summer 2012 Sustainable FLEXO 11