We’ve embarked on the process of becoming certified as a Sustainable Green Printer. Three printing associations (FTA, SGIA, and PIA/GATF) were the founding partners behind the Sustainable Green Printer certification, a new program that will help consumers to differentiate between the real greenies and the greenwashers. One element of it that I especially like is that they recognize that sustainability is a journey, so there will be continual strides towards a lighter impact on the earth, rather than a minimum standard that businesses have to meet and never re-visit. Printers who meet the requirements and are verified are listed on a registry at www.SGPPartnership.org
There are two categories of registration – Candidate Pending Verification (CPV) and SGP Printer. The CPV category will give a facility a 12-month time frame in which to meet all criteria for becoming an SGP Printer. Facilities that already meet the criteria for being an SGP Printer may bypass the CPV category and apply for recognition under that category. Among other requirements, SGP Printers have to complete an annual progress report and will be subjected to periodic verification by an accredited third party.
Another aspect of the SGP certification that I think is really strong is that it encompasses more than just environmental issues. Social responsibility is another major component. The three elements that SGP considers key to sustainability are: people, planet, and profits.
Independent third parties verify that individual printer sites meet the criteria.