National Environmental Health & Safety Conference Boasts Significant Increase in Attendance
PITTSBURGH—April 4, 2008—Industry interest in and programming on sustainability helped increase attendance at the 2008 National Environmental Health & Safety Conference by a remarkable 53%. About 225 people attended the March event at the Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel, a number the 13-year-old conference hasn’t experienced since 2002.
The keynote presentation by Mark DiVito, “The State of Sustainability in Graphic Communications,” was based on a survey by Reed Business Information. This survey identified how different printing stakeholders are addressing green issues. The results included:
Companies that felt the emphasis on sustainability in printing had increased in the past year: 75%.
Companies with a formal, written policy on sustainability: 14% of printers responded that they had such a policy; 25% said they had an informal, unwritten policy; 40% had no policy; 21% had one under development.
The survey showed that, at present, leaders in sustainability tend to (1) be larger organizations with > 250 employees, (2) be represented by higher percentages of publication printers, wide-web flexography, prepress providers, and screen printers, and (3) make equipment and consumable purchases with sustainability in mind.
Associate director of corporate environmental, health, safety, and security for H.J. Heinz, Brian Shuttleworth, discussed Heinz’s efforts around the globe to measure and reduce its “field to fork” carbon footprint and boost its sustainability by using less packaging materials, energy, and water, and converting to renewable energy where possible. The company’s focus on initiating sustainability projects and determining environmental impacts was recognized in 2007—it was ranked by investment analysts as one of the most environmentally and socially responsible companies.
The second day of the conference produced groundbreaking news, as the new Sustainable Green Printing Partnership released and sought feedback on its draft criteria for printers seeking formal recognition of their sustainability efforts. For more information about the Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership, visit www.sgppartnership.org .
As in the past, the conference featured a variety of breakout sessions on topics such as recovering from a press fire and electrical safety to carbon footprinting and determining the sustainability of inks and coatings. In all, over 40 sessions were offered, including a 10-hour DOT HAZMAT Training Course that met mandatory Department of Transportation training requirements for shipping and receiving hazardous waste.
The conference was presented by the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF), along with its partners, the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association (FFTA), Newspaper Association of America (NAA), and Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA).
Ten suppliers sponsored the conference and participated in the exhibit area: AbsorbTech, Cornerstone Environmental, Health and Safety, Inc., FloClear, Graphic Arts Monthly, Kodak, Maratek, National Energy Services Company, OSHA, Printers National Environmental Assistance Center (PNEAC), RadTech, and Summit Environmental Services.
For more information about the National Environmental Health & Safety Conference, contact PIA/GATF’s training department at 800-910-4283 or visit www.nehsconference.org .
PIA/GATF is the world’s largest graphic arts trade association representing an industry with more than 1.2 million employees. It serves the interests of more than 12,000 member companies. PIA/GATF, along with its affiliates, delivers products and services that enhance the growth, efficiency, and profitability of its members and the industry through advocacy, education, research, and technical information.