MILWAUKEE, WI—Representatives from national and local printing industry associations have signed an innovative Green Tier Charter with the Department of Natural Resources to help foster compliance and encourage superior environmental performance.
Representatives from the Great Lakes Graphics Association, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association and Flexographic Technical Association signed the charter, along with DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp at Visual Impressions, Inc.’s facility in Milwaukee. Visual Impressions is the first printing company to join the charter.
“We are excited to partner with these national and regional printing associations to merge our sustainability efforts through this Green Tier charter,” said DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. “We hope other printers join Visual Impressions and become part of the state’s Green Tier legacy of combining economic growth with sound environmental performance.”
Cathy noted that the charter will help advance sustainable business practices within the printing industry while improving regulatory efficiency. Printing is a major business sector in Wisconsin with more than 1,000 facilities in operation.
The charter also identifies the linkage between the industry’s national Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) certification program and Wisconsin’s Green Tier program, making it simpler for printers to participate in both and laying out clear expectations for additional learning and sharing.
“The signing of the Green Tier program’s Printing Industry Charter further acknowledges the significance of the SGP program to the entire printing industry. By formally recognizing SGP as an alternative environmental management system, Green Tier has opened the doors for printers to choose to become both SGP certified and participate in Wisconsin’s innovative program,” states Paul Lilienthal, SGP board chair. “We here at SGP look forward to working with the state on this great initiative.”
In addition to encouraging participation in both SGP and Green Tier, the trade associations and DNR will work together to promote:
- Measures that exceed basic environmental compliance
- New technologies
- Improved processes
- New or revised regulations
- Resources that will provide cost savings via operational efficiencies
The charter also identifies opportunities to improve regulatory efficiency, such as streamlining environmental regulations, creating alternative approaches to meet regulatory obligations, and developing guidance documents.
Visual Impressions, Inc., First SGP Certified Printer Under New Charter
Visual Impressions, Inc., a contract apparel decorator that prints and embroiders garments, hosted the signing celebration at its Milwaukee facility. Visual Impressions, a certified participant of SGP, was officially welcomed into Green Tier as a Tier 1 participant and honored as the first printer under the new charter.
“The Wisconsin Green Tier program is another way we can leverage our sustainability program and efforts that we have already established by becoming a certified SGP printer nationally,” said Marshall Atkinson, chief operating officer of Visual Impressions, Inc. “We look forward to partnering with both organizations to foster first class environmental business stewardship and business.”
Atkinson said Visual Impressions has identified the following issues as initial priorities for their 25 year old business with 100 employees:
- Divert embroidery stabilizer material waste
- Monitor and reduce air compressor leaks
- Investigate energy improvements including dock doors, lighting, air circulation and printing processes