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Industry Insight

Sustainability 101

Friend of the blog Stephen Whittaker (

By Richard Romano
Published: June 3, 2013

Friend of the blog Stephen Whittaker (whose company, Monroe Litho of Rochester, N.Y., won the 2011 Thought Leader Environmental Innovation Award) has taken his experience in printing industry sustainability into the classroom. Last year, as an adjunct professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Print Media, he launched a class in “Operations Management in the Graphic Communications Industry.” This past Spring Quarter, 12 students in the graduate-level class took on the task of writing a Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership registration document, the course’s final project. Each student was assigned a section of the SGP’s standard to research, and were to develop and prepare a preliminary report and a final presentation. Students were required to review each of the requirements for SGP certification and determine what was needed to provide a concise answer to each specific question. “The exercise started with two class hours going over each section with all 12 class members present,” says Whittaker. “The next session was a one-on-one to ensure that they were on track. I had a recent audit notebook available when a question about an exhibit or procedure was asked.” Monroe Litho served as a test case for the class project. After the class hashes it all out, individually and en masse, students then prepare a final paper and presentation. “All sections were duplicated, collated, and wirebound, and finished documents were returned to all students for use on prospective job interviews,” adds Whittaker. “This is the only program of its kind in our industry at the university level.”

Please offer your feedback to Richard. He can be reached at richard@whattheythink.com.



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