SGIA Expo Attendees Can Explore Sustainable Printing

Plus, perspectives on why they should.

The specialty imaging industry heads south this November for the 65th SGIA Expo, an annual tradition since 1948. With whispers of yet-to-be-seen direct-to-garment technology, the lure of burgeoning new industries, and more than 500 exhibitors clamoring for your investment, it’s best to arrive prepared. We spoke with these trusted consultants and Screen Printing contributors to find out what you can expect to see at the show.

Screen Printing: What about the “Sustainability Zone” SGIA will be introducing on the show floor? ROI can be tough, and delayed, with this trend – is it something our readers can even afford to look into? Are there benefits to their bottom line for becoming energy efficient? What might they find at the show that will help them move in this direction?

Charlie Taublieb, Taublieb Consulting: I think this is an area that everyone should look into for a variety of reasons. Being energy efficient means finding products and ways to conserve energy, which should translate into cost savings even though the ROI might be long. One of the energy-efficient products that more and more screen printers are looking at are the LED exposure units. These are fast, not very expensive, won’t need to change bulbs for a very long time, and will probably save enough in a few years to pay for themselves.

Andy MacDougall, TMI Screenprinting Equipment: As an industry, we can’t move forward without embracing sustainability. ROI is not the only way to look at this. Customers want, and in some cases, demand, that the products we produce in the industry have sustainable features, so that gives printers a competitive advantage. Local health and safety authorities expect us to stay current with environmental factors, so why not lead? The best takeaways from the zone are going to be case studies, examples, and action plans.

Mike Ruff, Mike Ruff Consulting: The most important thing to understand about sustainability is you need to have more than one reason to make the investment. Some just do it to satisfy a client base that is demanding it. That is a good reason, but if you don’t focus on the internal benefits and do some studies to project the labor, time, and consumables you might save, you might be missing most of the value of sustainability initiatives. The Sustainability Zone will provide very good insight on the potential that will help you make your decision.

Mike Young, Imagetek Consulting: Sustainability is more than a carbon footprint of a company’s present operations today. The [Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP)] program cleans up procedures, encourages recycling, reduces waste and energy, improves efficiency, and can potentially save a ton of money from going down the drain – all of which makes any organization healthier in business. It is about managing a company’s social and environmental risk, obligations, and opportunities – so can one really put a price on it? I don’t think so.

The effort can lead to meaningful and measurable results in the form of significant cost savings, new business opportunities, enhanced brand reputation, higher employee engagement, and partnerships that support the company’s goals. Becoming greener or energy efficient is not just a monetary thing, as most believe. It sends out a clear message to customers and prospects that the people they are directly dealing with are not only consciously aware about conserving precious resources within the community, but also improving employees’ workplace environment.

Company owners and senior management would do well to take time to stop by the Sustainability Zone and listen to their peers who have gone through the [SGP] program themselves. They are more than willing to share accounts of how the partnership changed their company for the better, as well as challenges faced.

For more expert perspectives on this year's SGIA Expo:

SGIA Embraces Industry Manufacturing Opportunities
Direct-to-Garment: Worth Your Dollar?
Trends to Watch for at SGIA
SGIA Expo: Rookie Dos and Don'ts

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