Proving That You're Sustainable
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.
Gary A. Jones is the director of environmental, health and safety (EHS) affairs at the Specialty Graphic and Imaging Association in Fairfax, VA. His primary responsibility is to monitor and analyze EHS regulatory activities at all domestic and some international government levels. He provides representation on behalf of the printing and specialty graphic imaging industry. In doing so, Mr. Jones works closely with the federal and state-level Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA), Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and other agencies. He also provides membership assistance on EHS compliance and sustainability programs through a variety of approaches including responding to inquiries, presentations, writing, and consulting services.
Mr. Jones is also supporting Specialty Graphic and Imaging Association’s efforts for the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). SGP is dedicated to assisting printing operations respond to the customer demand for sustainable printing.
He holds a BS in biology from LaRoche College and an MS in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.