The Printing Press Blog

Sustainable Business Practices: Promoting Health and Well-Being

Apr 28, 2020, 22:49 PM by Blog Team
Authored by Heather Nortz.

Nortz_SDG_EmployeeWellnessLast week, SGIA announced its 2020 Sustainable Business Recognition Program recipients, with an introduction to the globally recognized United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their accompanying targets and indicators that served as the program's criteria. Now, we're sharing how the Sustainable Business Recognition Silver Award recipients achieved SDG No. 3., which focuses on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all ages.

As an example of the targets (actions) and indicators (metrics) used to evaluate recipients, let's look at Target 3.9: “By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.” This achievement is measured by Indicator 3.9.1: “Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution.”

SDG 3 has 17 accompanying targets and indicators, including reducing maternal and neonatal mortality, substance abuse, and diseases such as cancer or tuberculosis, and increasing investment in the health care workforce. The Silver Sustainable Business Recognition Award winners who contributed to SDG 3 in 2019 are:

• Lawson Screen & Digital Products (St. Louis), which offers numerous printing equipment and supplies as well as training classes and how-to support.
• LEM Products (Montgomeryville, Pa), a producer of stock and customized identification products.
• NAU Printing Services (Flagstaff, Ariz.), a full-service facility providing small and large-format printing to the Northern Arizona University community.
• Night Owls Print Shop (Houston), a custom merchandising shop mainly focused on water-based screen printing, but specializing in other items such as enamel pins, embroidered goods, and promotional products.
• North Georgia Promotions (Alpharetta, Ga.), a family-owned company creating custom screen printing and embroidery, digital printing, and customized promotional items.
• Packsize International (Salt Lake City), a corrugated material manufacturer and on-demand packaging system provider.
• Triple Stamp Press (Richmond, Va.), a custom screen printing shop.
• Wythken Printing (Richmond, Va.), a full-service commercial printing company.

Target 3.4a: Reduce Mortality from Diseases Through Prevention and Treatment
In 2019, LEM Products went the extra mile by offering free flu shots to their employees to maintain a healthy and productive workforce.

Wythken Printing improved its ability to prevent and treat illnesses by providing cut-resistant safety gloves in areas where blades are used frequently to prevent cuts as well as bloodborne pathogens from spreading. They also keep a supply of over-the-counter medical supplies for employees.

Target 3.4b: Promote Mental Health and Well Being
Wythken, Triple Stamp Press, and NAU Printing Services provide a flexible paid-time-off policy allowing for mental health days — even on short notice — and creating custom schedules. These benefits encourage a healthy work-life balance and prevent employees from getting overwhelmed during challenging times in their personal lives. 

A more hands-on approach of ensuring the mental well-being of employees is providing direct access to services such as counseling and guidance on life events. While NAU and North Georgia Promotions both offer this benefit, the former also offers leadership training and the latter offers continued education assistance.

Lawson Screen & Digital boosts its employees' mental well-being with staff-wide meditation each morning. The company encourages positive thinking through mantras and the practice of radical self-acceptance. Packsize International brings wellness into the workplace through their annual wellness fair. They also offer in-office dental and massage services.

Nortz_SDG_WellnessStandingDeskTo help improve employees' physical well-being, LEM provides proper ergonomics with cushioned floor mats and standing height tables. They were justifiably proud of their streak of 1,199 accident-free workdays as of January 2019.

Focusing on both physical and mental well-being, Night Owls Print Shop and Lawson have introduced 401(k) plans and profit sharing. This shows appreciation for employees' hard work, helping them care for themselves post-retirement.

Target 3.9: Reduce Number of Deaths and Illnesses form Hazardous Chemical Contamination
Monitoring air pollution is very important in ensuring employee health and safety. Manufacturers should be particularly concerned with monitoring volatile organic compound and CO₂ emissions, and keeping overall indoor air quality high.

NAU consistently monitors indoor air quality through Fire, Safety, & Life Associates at the university. It also created safety data sheet handbooks for each of its sub-departments, adding mandatory safety training modules for everyone.

Using only soy- and citrus-based chemicals and exclusively water-based inks has allowed Triple Stamp Press to lower their air emission levels drastically. Wythken has also reduced their emissions by installing several air filters throughout the facility.

In January 2015, Packsize founded Leaders for Clean Air, a nonprofit that is committed to improving Utah's air quality by providing free electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to businesses through Rocky Mountain Power's Live Electric EV charging program. To date, they have provided EV charging stations for 170 businesses.

These are only a few of the ways our 2020 Sustainable Business Recognition Program winners have contributed to one of the three UN SDGs most applicable to the program and printing industry. Stay tuned for additional posts outlining recipients' achievements.

Learn more about the program and sign up to be notified when the 2021 Sustainable Business Recognition Program Applications open! Please also feel free to contact me with any questions about the program.