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Sustainability in Printing: Good for the Earth and Good for Business

Dave Gens CFO at RPIRecently, our Seattle printing and manufacturing facilities were certified by the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP). This certification is the gold standard in sustainability and represents the most rigorous and comprehensive requirements in the printing industry. As manufacturers of personalized printed products and corporate collateral, sustainable green practices are core to the culture, values and business of RPI and we are very proud to be recognized by SGP for our commitment.

While organizations such as FSC and SFI are highly beneficial for certifying materials that may be used in the print process, SGP is focused on the manufacturing process of making printed products. At RPI, we are ensuring that we are sustainable in turning "green materials" into finished products in an environmentally friendly manner.

Today for example, over 97% of our company's waste is being recycled or diverted from landfills through our Zero Landfill initiative, a company wide effort to reduce RPI's landfill footprint to as close to zero as possible. While we have been committed to green practices for many years through recycling and sustainability programs for paper, cardboard, imaging oils and ink, our landfill footprint has been reduced by 57% in just three years!

Not only is sustainable business practice ethically important and critical to the health of our planet, but companies should recognize the potential bottom-line advantages as well. We're proud that our customers and their end users are very concerned about sustainability and are increasingly requiring green practices throughout the supply chain. In many arenas, companies must demonstrate not only that they use green materials, but have sustainable and other socially responsible practices in order to compete in today's market.

Sustainability is a key factor in opening doors to new market opportunities, but it also has proven to be important in our ability to attract, retain and motivate employees. Particularly in the printing industry, people want to know that their employer is environmentally responsible.

Finally, our holistic green initiatives enabled RPI to take advantage of sustainability incentives from our local utility company, Seattle City Light resulting in significant savings that have produced a high return on investment in our sustainability initiative.

Fortunately, organizations similar to SGP exist in many industries. Though the audit process may be time consuming, the long-term business benefits are numerous. The most reputable certification organizations are meticulous and comprehensive and ensure your customers can trust that your practices are not just corporate "green-washing', but are truly sustainable and will remain that way in the future.

"The Earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself." – Chief Seattle in a letter to President Franklin Pierce, 1852.
www.rpiprint.com

 

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