Becoming more sustainable can provide your shop with additional efficiencies and additional profits.
The SGP designation can resonate well with like-minded clients. “There’s a strong return on investment when you look at the different elements of SGP certification,” Kinter asserts, with potential savings in reduced waste and energy usage. Early adopters report a marketing advantage as well, because corporations are aware of the certification and have begun using it as a filter to determine who gets their print business, she says.
SGP certification usually takes about a year, and can cost several thousand dollars, depending on what’s involved. “Once you have the guidelines, it can take six to eight months to get ready, before you schedule an audit of your business,” she advises.
Another organization whose logo is frequently seen across the graphics market: the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC, www.us.fsc.org), an organization that verifies not only forests and forest-management practices, but also offers chain-of-custody certification ensuring that FSC-certified material is identified and/or kept separated from non-certified material throughout the supply chain. Hence, products with the FSC logo such as lumber and paper (and other substrates and media) are certified sustainable. The organization also offers FSC certification to print service providers; qualifying companies adhere to FSC standards and have systems in place to distinguish FSC products and promote them (and the FSC trademark).
“FSC certification and the FSC logo indicate a product, and businesses involved in it have adhered to the FSC processes and standards,” says Ian Hanna, FSC director of business development in the US.
Hanna says the organization will soon launch a campaign to make consumers even more aware of the FSC logo and what it means. Meanwhile, many major corporations already specify use of FSC-specified products from their suppliers.
“There’s been a decade-long movement among the Fortune 500 to become more responsible corporate citizens, and many of them have focused on FSC as the gold standard for ensuring our forests will be around forever,” he says. “It’s part of a corporate strategy to eliminate risk in their supply chain, and make their brands ‘stickier’ with those consumers concerned about sustainability.”
Print providers should be aware of the following organizations and programs as well: