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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

Those facilities already meeting SGP standards can bypass the CPV category and immediately apply for recognition. An on-site verification will validate the SGP certification for two years; once certified, SGP Printers will have to complete an annual progress report and will be subject to periodic verification by an accredited third party. Both categories will require an application fee (not determined at press time), and applicants also will be responsible for all fees associated with the third-party verification process.

Specific SGP Printer certification criteria include:

* Regulation compliance: Shops must comply with all local, state, and federal environmental, health, and safety regulations.

* Guiding principles: Shops need to be proactive in meeting applicable legal regulations, use materials from renewable resources or of low environmental detriment, encourage sustainable changes in the supply chain, establish clear communication with all members of the print process, observe the principles of sustainability, and practice social responsibility.

* Management system: Eligible candidates must establish and maintain a commitment to sustainability through management processes. The management system must include a unique EHS policy as well as: an in-house Sustainability Committee; an Implementation and Operation procedure; a Checking and Corrective Actions program; and more.

* Best practices: Meet mandatory best practices within three print-facility categories: Product-design aspects and input material management to create the product; Process-all manufacturing steps (prepress, press, post-press) involved in converting raw materials into a finished product; and Envelope-all the manufacturing support activities (including the building, grounds, utilities, employees, etc.).

* Social aspects: All shops must adhere to local, state, and federal employment and non-discrimination laws.

* Metric system: Members must use the SGP Partnership Sustainability Metric System to measure and report on progress; these metrics are under development.

* Annual progress reports: Shops must use the official SGP template to demonstrate the commitment to excellence.

People, planet, and profits

The criteria will be beta tested in the next few months and modifications made as needed. SGP has set up a comment section on its website and will be garnering comments through mid-April; the registry’s official launch is this summer.

Finally, says the SGP, it’s important that print shops understand that sustainability "encompasses more than just environmental issues. Corporate social responsibility is another major component. As a result, the criteria are based on all three key elements of sustainability-people, planet, and profits."

Angela Prues is assistant editor of The Big Picture magazine.