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Environmental Standards: Shop Certification

(March 2008) posted on Thu Mar 06, 2008

Here are a few resources to help get your shop certified.


By Peggy Middendorf

How can companies legitimately prove that their facility, process, and products meet an environmental standard? Attaining a recognized certification from a proven eco-friendly organization is one way to go. And not just to sound good. "Many corporate clients now require their print manufacturers to be FSC-certified," says John Shaffer, director of large format at Primary Color. "We’ve noticed a marked increase in requests for information about our status."

Currently, no certifications are specific to wide-format output. But a preliminary partnership/certification process is in the works from the Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership (www.sgppartnership.org), a group of market organizations (SGIA, PIA/GATF, and FTA) with the goals of defining sustainable green printing and identifying steps that help the industry to establish manufacturing practices and products that are more environmentally sustainable. The group is in its beginning stages, but once criteria have been developed, print shops that meet those criteria will be listed on the SGP Printer Registry, located on the organization’s website.

Here are some of the existing certifications that a print shop might pursue:

* Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards guide forest management toward sustainable outcomes. While it’s generally commercial printers that attain FSC certification, some wide-format printers are now also gaining this recognition.
www.fscus.org

* The ISO 14000 environmental management standards help organizations minimize their operations’ negative effect on the environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
www.iso.org

* The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System provides standards for environmentally sustainable construction. While most print shops are not directly involved with construction, many of the graphic products that shops produce are an integral part of interior design for new buildings.
www.usgbc.org


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