This program is not just a case of "getting another...merit badge to stick on your sales brochure."

Will certification from the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (www.sgppartnership.org) bring flexible packaging converters new business?

Scott Hammer thinks so. As director of technology and sustainability at C-P Flexible Packaging, he is managing the company’s application for SGP certification. “Yes, we do believe it will generate some business for us,” Hammer says. “As more people become aware of sustainable issues, packaging is always on the firing line. Whatever you can do from an environmental standpoint-whether it be your processes, the materials you use, how you put them together-will be a benefit in the long run.”

George Fickau, sustainability manager at Coating Excellence Inc., also believes certification will generate sales. “That may be nice side effect, but our reason for doing it is not for monetary gain. We believe it’s the right thing to do for our customers, employees and community,” Fickau says.

Both companies have applied, but certification-which is quite involved and rigorous-is still pending. This program is not just a case of “getting another sustainable-type merit badge to stick on your sales brochure. It’s a continuing process improvement program,” Fickau explains. “Once you’re certified, you incorporate additional self-directed sustainability projects and programs annually, helping your printing company to become ever more sustainable.”

No one in the flexible packaging industry is immune to the green movement. Flexible Packaging magazine’s recent contribution is twofold:

One, flexible packaging converters now can receive digital copies of our magazine instead of printed ones. Environmentally conscious readers can sign up at www.flexpackmag.com/renew. (Any reader can sign up and download this digital version to read on their computer at their convenience, day or night, at the office or on a plane.) Not only will this expand the reach of the publication to anyone who’s interested from around the world, but each year it will save hundreds of pounds of paper, as well as energy from printing and transportation.

Two, we’re combining a couple of issues this year: July/August and November/December. This, too, will save paper and energy.

Granted, these decisions benefit another green movement: Keeping an eye on our costs in a tight economy-and that’s just good business today. Thanks for reading!