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JUNE 2013



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READ THIS.....
It Will Help You To Be A
Sustainability Partner To Your
Printing Customers -
by Marci Kinter

Sustainability in the Marketplace
Over the past few years I have been asked to participate in meetings to present the concept of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership to respond to questions about going beyond substrate choices and into the realm of corporate sustainability practices. Printing companies have begun to realize that the boundaries set around single attribute certification programs, such as FSC, while a fine system for certification of one substrate; is not a holistic approach to corporate sustainability. This trend of looking beyond FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certification to a more comprehensive approach to sustainability is a growing trend in today's marketplace, and one that distributors should recognize and embrace so that they can help their customers understand and embrace sustainable business operations.

False Assumptions
Often printers are only interested in how to produce a "green" product. Distributors are often the first line of communication, and while investigating and using alternative products as a means of reducing environmental impact is a strong step in the right direction, it is not the only step that should be taken. Too often printers believe that if using alternative products they need not worry about environmental issues as all their products would be green. This is both a very circular argument as well as a false assumption.

Dealers Can Step In To Dispel The Myths
Dispelling this myth can oftentimes fall to the distributor. To produce any product, "green" or not, a facility will still use ink systems and printing devices that may indeed lead to compliance issues. Simply because an ink or solvent system is labeled eco-friendly does not mean there are no environmental impacts associated with the use of that product. It is imperative that distributors continue to educate their printer customers as to the environmental, as well as safety and health issues, associated with the use of any chemical product. Those distributors who are actively engaging in conversations with the manufacturers of alternative materials regarding environmental claims will become those subject matter experts to their customer base.

Corporate sustainability is about innovation. It is an entirely fresh way of doing business that makes sense not only for the community in which the business operates, but also for the bottom line. It is a time of fundamental change and a paradigm shift in how business is done. The bottom line is now more than just a number; the bottom line is accountability. The dealer community should seek to embrace this concept and continue to engage the printer in these important conversations. Those who do provide solid information that the printer can in turn provide to their customers, become an important sustainability partner.

Questions? Contact SGIA govtaffairs@sgia.org

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