Great Printers Project
In 1991, under the direction of Governors Arne Carlson of Minnesota,
John Engler of Michigan, and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, the Great
Printers Project was initiated as a partnership with the Environmental
Defense Fund and the Printing Industries of America. The project’s
goal was to establish pollution prevention as a standard business
practice in the lithographic printing industry. In 1994, project
partners published a set of recommendations that challenge every
participant in the printing process to proactively consider the
environmental impacts of printing operations. To date, nearly 400
printers have signed on as environmentally-sound “Great Printers.”
Since 1995, the pilot states of Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota
have been continuing the Great Printers program and coordinating
their individual efforts.
The project brought together representatives from government, industry,
labor, and environmental groups to focus on the common objectives
of environmental protection and economic strength. In 1994, the
initial 37-member project team signed a commitment to making pollution
prevention the primary choice of the Great Lakes states' lithographic
printing industry in meeting and exceeding its environmental and
human health protection responsibilities and to recasting the current
approach to environmental policy. They recommended the following
- Printers should voluntarily adopt the Great Printing
Principles which include: complying with applicable environmental,
health, and safety laws; going beyond compliance; and seeking
continuous environmental improvement.
- Print Buyers should work with printers to reduce the
environmental and worker health impacts of their printing requests.
Print Suppliers/Distributors should work with printers to identify
and sell environmentally superior chemicals and equipment that
can produce high-quality jobs.
- Regulators should create a pollution prevention friendly
regulatory framework that better communicates environmental and
worker health goals and consolidates all requirements into an
easy-to-use information and reporting system.
- Technical and Financial Assistance Programs should
provide printers with easy access to industry-specific technical
and financial assistance.
Launched four state pilot partnerships of printers, environmental
groups, state regulatory agencies and technical assistance providers
in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Created enrollment programs to educate printers about the project
and to acknowledge and support printers who commit to adopt the
Great Printing Principles.
Developed a model simplified reporting system that helps a printer
easily understand their compliance status and how to prevent pollution.
Established the Printers
National Environmental Assistance Center, a resource center
available via the internet that provides reliable, up-to-date information
specifically for the printing industry.
For more information:
National Assistance Center--Great Printers Project