Blog Posts - Green and Sustainability

  • 06/08/2015

    Is becoming a certified sustainable or green printing operation a priority for you? If not, you may want to take a closer look at what certification can do to transform your business. Many print customers are demanding that their products be produced in a sustainable fashion. In addition to meeting customers demands, sustainable business practices provide business benefits as well as protect the environment. Companies that have become certified under the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership have been able to cut their operating costs, increase their productivity, and reduce their impact on the environment.

    In an exciting development, New York State has become the first state to preference printing companies certified under the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership. This means that decision makers in the state are encouraged to issue contracts to printing companies who follow SGP’s standards in sustainability. By making this...

  • 12/02/2014

    In what seems to be a forever-changing regulatory landscape, employers can only imagine what new EPA and OSHA requirements they will encounter in 2015. How can you avoid serious fines, negative publicity, and serious injuries from EHS violations? For managers, business owners, or anyone involved in EHS in the printing industry, those are just a few of the many concerns that can keep you up at night. But if there’s one thing we do know about your job going into 2015, it’s that the stakes are going to get higher and the rules more complicated.

    Gary Jones, Assistant Vice President of EHS Affairs at Printing Industries of America, has experienced his share of sleepless nights too, usually because he is traveling from state to state helping printers solve serious EHS challenges. We caught up with him in...

  • 07/03/2014

    The next time you clean equipment at your printing operation, double check before you throw away the towel! The solvent-contaminated towel, that is. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has passed new hazardous waste regulations that affect the way your operation needs to manage solvent-contaminated wipes.

    With little fanfare, the Federal Solvent-Contaminated Wipes Rule took effect January 23, 2013. Our Environmental, Health, and Safety department has been involved with this rule from the beginning and has been closely following its development. They have been keeping members educated and answering question about the new requirements.

    Since not all states have yet adopted this rule, you may still have to follow your current state policy, but just about all states will be adopting the new rule during 2014 and into 2015. Its purpose is to provide a minimum uniform set of requirements designed to...

  • 02/05/2014

    As you know the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), which means a new to-do list for many printers. Last time we told you about the EHS resources available even if you missed the initial training deadline of December 2013. 

    Here is a “Who, What, Why, When, and Where” overview to give you a clearer explanation of what you need to do and when to do it to remain in compliance.

    WHO Do These New Standards Affect?

    All printing operations are subject to the Hazard Communication Standard because of the use of chemicals such as inks, toners, cleaning solutions, etc. As a printing operation, you must provide information to your employees about the hazards associated with your chemicals, including how to work with them in a safe manner through labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), which are replacing the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS...

  • 02/05/2014

    When it comes to the newly revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the countdown is on to comply with a long list of important new requirements—which means, yes, more acronyms!

    The new requirements started with mandatory employee training that had to be completed in December 2013, and the remaining requirements will be phased in over the next several years with the final deadline in June 2016. OSHA has adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling Chemicals (GHS), and as a result there are significant changes that all employees need to know about.

    If you’ve missed the initial training deadline, don’t panic!

    Our EHS department has published a number of resources to assist members with complying, including a concise training video covering the topics required in the initial training and a customizable...

  • 10/07/2013

    Is your company in compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations, including employee Hazard Communication training required by December 1, 2013? Are you meeting your customers’ demands for sustainable printing and following the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Green Guides for marketing claims?

    There are many printing operations unaware of their basic environmental and safety requirements, which can lead to thousands of dollars in fines! Making general environmental claims has become much more difficult, and the FTC has taken enforcement actions against companies that are not following their new guides.  

    Your best bet is to learn and understand your risk and be proactive. The Environmental,...

  • 09/03/2013

    Not only is it a smart idea to make sure every employee is informed of chemical hazards in the workplace, it’s also the law! Many of us in the printing industry work with chemicals and materials on a daily basis, and under the Hazard Communication Standard, OSHA requires printing companies to identify hazardous chemicals and provide training to ensure that employees are working with these chemicals in a safe manner.

    OSHA has made significant revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard, including replacing the Material Safety Data Sheet with the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). In response, we are making available to all members “need to know” information to stay in compliance with the new requirements and free tools to implement a Hazard Communication program to meet them.

    If you’re familiar...

  • 12/19/2012

    The Environmental, Health, and Safety Department at Printing Industries of America offers advice on the control and cleaning of combustible dust, a top priority for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

    The control of combustible dust has become a top priority for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and they are focusing on many industries—including printing operations—where combustible dust is generated. Combustible dust can be generated by several activities involved with printing and binding, including cutting paper, perfect binding, finishing operations, material handling activities, deteriorating building materials, and use of offset spray powder.

    The generation, handling, and accumulation of combustible dust present both a fire and explosion hazard, and it must be managed to prevent a hazardous situation. In addition, excessive dust can cause problems with product quality and premature wear of motors, especially...

  • 10/31/2012

    Is your operation in compliance with federal, state, and local environmental and safety regulations? Would you be ready if an EPA or OSHA inspector showed up at your door today?  An inspection can happen at any time, and if you are not prepared, you could face thousands of dollars in fines for even minor infractions. The best way to solve a compliance issue is before an inspection occurs, and the Environmental, Health, and Safety experts at Printing Industries of America are here to help with all of your regulatory compliance needs.

    Our expert staff has the knowledge to provide you with timely and effective solutions for preventing and resolving compliance issues, responding to an enforcement action, or achieving sustainability certification to go beyond compliance. Customer demands for sustainability are increasing, and EHS compliance is a requirement of any credible sustainability program.

    Agency penalties for noncompliance can be severe and expensive...

  • 09/04/2012

    To better serve our members and industry, Printing Industries of America is proud to support Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership. The SGP Partnership is an industry-specific, voluntary program designed to reduce the environmental impact and increase social responsibility of the print and graphic communications industry. The Partnership certifies printers against specific criteria and requires printers to commit to making continuous improvement in the product, process, and envelope areas of the graphic arts industry.The following is contributed by SGP.