Printing industry sets sustainability goals for labeling

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Printing industry sets sustainability goals for labeling
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, (SGP) has set its goals for the print manufacturing on how to acheive higher levels of responsibility and sustainability.

The fifth anual SGP Community Day, held in Cincinnati, included in-depth discussions on a wide range of issues that the print and retail industries are facing, specifically with respect to the circular economy, green procurement and recycling.

For the cosmetics and personal industry, printing plays a large part in the production of packaging, both for labeling and for the design of secondary packaging.

Sustainability is make or break

With the sustainability and green characteristics of finished products increasingly coming under the spotlight, every element of packaging is coming under scrutiny as this is often seen as having a high impact on the sustainability profile of an end product.

"Working towards a sustainable future is a clear choice for the printing industry - you're either on the 'train' that's moving forward, or you're left behind. Sustainability is not a fad. It's here to stay,”​ said Jodi Sawyer, chair of SGP board and market development manager at FLEXcon.

“It's addressing your people, your processes and your products. SGP certification fosters a continuous improvement journey toward a sustainable future and provides that needed validation. SGP certification has gone from an achievement to a business-critical certification."

Certification is key

Outlining its plan to help printing players attain higher levels of sustainability, the organization says that becoming certified is key, as it helps set the specifics goals needed to acheive more efficient process that have less impact on the environment.

SGP Certification includes an Impact Tracker that provides specific metrics to put print printers on the level with other suppliers that have fulfilled the requirements, not just comparing printing equipment.

The solutions also include recycling, resue of print materials, as well as indoor air quality, with all of the data being compared to other players in the supply chain to ensure the goals are realistic, but effective.

The SGP community also provides leadership in all areas of sustainability, SGP printers, brand leaders, patrons and resource partners and other key players, in an effort to drive the sustainability and recycling initiatives.

‘Heart and engine of sustainability’

In a key note presentation given during the meeting, Ryan Mooney-Bullock, director of Cincinnati’s Green Umbrella Sustainability Alliance, referred to building and a community that included group interaction to develop the right goals.

"Green Umbrella facilitates collaboration among more than 200 area non-profits, businesses, educational institutions and governmental entities focused on the environmental aspects of sustainability. With our members, we aim to meet the environmental, social, and economic needs of today while preserving the ability of future generations to do the same,"​ said Mooney-Bullock.

"The success we have of building a community with 100s of organizations and individuals is based on the Collective Impact Model - a common agenda, shared measurement, collective responsibility, constant communication and a professional staff."

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