Sustainable Green Printing Partnership

The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) is the only whole facility certification program for the graphic communication industry. SGP certification is given to facilities that have met the rigorous standards of the criteria developed by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). This certification program has been developed as a collaborative effort of the entire printing industry to define what it means to be a sustainable printer and to offer credible validation by a third party.

At its foundation, certification begins with compliance with state, federal and local laws and then progresses through the implementation of operational practices and procedures, improvements and continuous monitoring of specific metrics including waste, energy, carbon emissions, social considerations, etc. The certification is a significant demonstration of organizations that are engaged in commercial printing’s commitment to sustainability and is recognizable in the marketplace.

Why should my facility get certified as a SGP Printer?

SGP certification provides credibility in the marketplace. Going beyond single attribute certification systems, SGP provides for third party validation of sustainability efforts thus avoiding “greenwashing.” Certification by the SGP program provides a strong return on investment (ROI) by identifying operational improvements and waste reductions. SGP also sets facilities on the path of continuous improvement offering ongoing benefits.

The path to certification…

SGP certification involves a third party audit of written policies, procedures, metrics data, and identification and implementation of a continuous improvement project each year and verification of their active sustainability management system. In addition, certification calls for continuous monitoring of specific metrics including waste, energy, carbon emissions, etc.

The certification also requires that certified facilities submit an annual criteria compliance report and metrics report to the certifying body as well as an annual self-audit. Certification is good for two years and re-certification requires an on-site third party re-verification audit.

Any commercial printing, packaging, screen, large format or related graphic communication facility located in the United States, Canada and Australia is eligible to become certified, including binding, finishing and loose leaf facilities, in-plant printing operations, and printing departments within educational institutions (schools, universities, community colleges, etc.).

Print Buyers

SGP certification differentiates themselves from other printers in the competitive marketplace. This certification can provide print buyers the confidence that they are purchasing from a supplier that is implementing the latest technologies and techniques to minimize environmental impacts and routinely working with their material suppliers to provide you with the latest material input options available in the market place.

SGP Criteria

The SGP criteria that must be fully implemented in order to become certified involves developing a sustainability management system that includes a sustainability policy, establishing a sustainability committee representative of the departments of the facility; implementation of procedures to maintain compliance with local, state and federal rules, implementation of an annual continuous improvement project, communication with stakeholders, providing training; internal review of the entire program and systems for corrective action, as well as documentation and reporting.

ISTC supports the SGP certification program. For more details see the SGP website or contact Brittany Sutphin at SGP or Deb Jacobson at ISTC.