Sustainability Assistance

Sustainability is the ability to operate in a way that meets present needs while providing for the needs of the future and future generations. Sustainable manufacturing has emerged to define a socially, environmentally, and resource-responsible approach to manufacturing. Sustainability encompasses more than just using recycled paper and ink or the other input materials used to produce a given printed product.

Sustainability is not a simple list of discrete actions. It is a continuous improvement process that requires a holistic approach to the entire manufacturing operation. In order to capitalize on the movement and turn it into a competitive advantage, printers need to have an approach that is both systematic and systemic.

Sustainable manufacturing for the printing industry embodies three principal concepts:

  • Product--The design, the input materials used to make it, and the ultimate fate of the finished goods
  • Process--The actual manufacturing process involving prepress, press, and postpress
  • Envelope--The support activities that occur at a printing operation such as the building, grounds, maintenance, transportation, employees, etc.

Sustainability Resources

The Green Guide for Graphic Communications: Growing and Profiting through Sustainability
When it comes to "green," are you talking the talk or walking the walk? For those new to the concept of sustainability, this guide will help you identify green printing practices and assess the strength of your green printing program. For those seeking to build upon an existing sustainability program, it also gives you the tools you need gain a competitive advantage by marketing your environmental commitment in a way that is credible and compelling.

Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership
The SGP Partnership is an industry-specific, voluntary program designed to reduce the environmental impact and increase social responsibility of the print and graphic communications industry. The Partnership certifies printers against specific criteria and requires printers to commit to making continuous improvement in the product, process, and envelope areas of the graphic arts industry. Our EHS staff has the resources and expertise you need to develop the program and policies required to obtain the SGP Certification. Find out more about the SGP Partnership and the tools we have to help you get certified.

Carbon Footprint Calculator for Printing Operations
To assist our members in determining the carbon footprint of their operation, Printing Industries of America has developed an Excel-based tool, available free to members, that is specifically designed for calculating Scope I and II emissions of a printing operation.