You Say You’re a Green Printer?

There’s been a lot of chatter around the Interwebs about a new program—certification by the Environmentally Friendly Printers Association (EFPA)—that purports to go “beyond forestry management and focus on environmentally friendly printing practices.”

Rather than talk about the pros and cons of this particular certification, as many folks have done just that over the last week or so, perhaps it makes more sense to look at exactly what kinds of certifications are out there, and what they actually mean.

The most comprehensive type of certification program looks at more than a process or product, it examines the entire business and its affects.

B Corporation
A “Benefit Corporation” or B Corporation certification measures companies for the benefits they provide society, the environment, their employees and their customers, not just for the benefits they provide their investors.

B Corps. must:

• Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards.

• Meet higher legal accountability standards.

• Build business constituency for good business.

A company is not only measured on how it does business, but what kind of effects its products and services have on employees, customers and the environment.

The certification/audit process looks at the building, business processes, operational activities and product lifecycle, as well as employee, community and customer relationships.

For more information:

Sustainable Green Printer
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGPP) provides an industry-specific certification—Sustainable Green Printer (SGP)—that was established to “encourage and promote participation in the worldwide movement to reduce the environmental impact and increase social responsibility of the print and graphic communications industry through sustainable green printing practices.”

Guiding principals for sustainable business, according to the SGPP, are:

• Employ, wherever and whenever possible, materials derived from renewable resources or with low environmental impact, maximizing recycling and recovery efforts with efficient utilization of renewable energy.

A business adviser and problem solver, Gail is managing director of Business Strategies Etc., which provides strategic marketing and business planning services and manages the execution of marketing communications tactics that help companies:
• Define their sustainability strategies,
• Deliver a positive, sustainable image,
• Gain credibility, trust and respect, and
• Measure the results of their green initiatives and actions.

Gail is a nationally recognized speaker on a wide range of subjects and brings enthusiasm and a unique blend of experience to the podium. As an industry analyst and journalist contributing to publications in the United States, Canada, India and Brazil, she has covered a number of beats, particularly sustainability in printing and mailing, print on demand, variable data printing and direct mail.
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