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SGP Releases Certification Criteria

(April 2008) posted on Tue Apr 29, 2008

The Sustainable Green Partnership offers "green" certifcation.

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By Angela Prues

Everyone wants be environmentally friendly these days, or at least give the impression that their prints are the purest. But eco-jargon alone is no longer enough to hold water. As you likely have been finding out, customers are not willing to shell out more green simply because your sales staff is screaming "recycled," "eco," "degradable," or any other hot-button word of the day.

As Marci Kinter, SGIA’s vice president of government and business information, said at the recent National Environmental, Health & Safety Conference in Indianapolis, "It’s no longer acceptable for companies to just say they’re acting sustainably. They now need to prove to their customers they are incorporating actual sustainable business practices that offer measurable results."

Now, that proof is possible, because the printing industry has created accountability through certification with the formation of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP, A collaborative effort between SGIA, PIA/GATF, and the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA), the SGP was formed late last year. Its goal: defining sustainable green printing and identifying steps "that will help the printing industry establish sustainable (or green) manufacturing and business practices." In addition, it will allow print buyers to shop for "green printers" by accessing an SGP Partnership Registry, which will list shops that meet specific SGP criteria.

As a step toward achieving these goals, SGP has announced initial criteria for shops to become SGP-certified green printers.

Applying for recognition

Any print shop in the United States and Canada will be eligible to apply for registration with the SGP Partnership. All types of printing platforms are eligible, including mixed-use facilities and in-plant operations. Two registration categories will be available: Candidate Pending Verification (CPV) and SGP Printer.

The CPV category is provisional and CPV applicants must develop and make available a written Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) policy and meet two of the major criteria. This provisional status allows for a 12-month window for print shops to fully comply with all criteria before full SGP certification is awarded. CPV facilities will be acknowledged on the SGP website, but will not be able to use the SGP logo.