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Proving That You're Sustainable

November 2008 By Gary Jones
MORE THAN ever, printers are being asked by their customers to prove their green credentials. In response to the demands for printers to create a creditable recognition program, the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP Partnership) was created. On August 28, the SGP Partnership began accepting applications from printers that want to be recognized for their efforts at being a sustainable green printer. 

The launch of the program was the culmination of more than a year of hard work by several key printing trade associations. The SGP Partnership is an independent, third-party registration organization formed in June 2007 as a collaboration between the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation, the Flexographic Technical Association, and the Specialty Graphic and Imaging Association. The National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers and the Envelope Manufacturers Association also joined the partnership in May 2008.

The SGP Partnership is an independent recognition organization that provides printers with an opportunity to demonstrate their sustainability efforts and receive recognition for their actions. Printers that meet the criteria, and have it verified by an audit, are listed on a registry for print buyers and customers to use when searching for sustainable green printers. 

One of the initial goals of the SGP Partnership was to establish a benchmark in the printing industry for sustainability. By working with the printing industry, suppliers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, state agencies, print buyers, consumer groups and environmentalists, criteria for recognition were developed with total transparency to meet market needs. The SGP Partnership has created a structure to develop a workflow for sustainability. The process can begin with simple steps and allow a company to move down the path to SGP Printer verification.

Becoming an SGP Printer requires three steps, and it starts with the completion of an online self-assessment application accompanied by supporting documentation that demonstrates compliance with all applicable regulatory requirements, as well as meeting the established criteria. The other steps are meeting the pre-audit documentation requirements and passing the on-site audit.

The criteria for being listed on the SGP registry as a sustainable green printer are listed on the SGP Partnership registry Website ( Candidates can easily apply online by going to the “Become an SGP Printer” page. 

There are two categories of registration now open for applications: Candidate Pending Verification (CPV) and SGP Printer. The CPV category gives a facility a 12-month time frame in which to meet all criteria for being an SGP Printer. Facilities that already meet the criteria may bypass the CPV category and apply directly for recognition under the SGP Printer category. 



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