Fri, Dec

Get with the programme

Fespa UK has launched a Sustainable Waste Academy. Raise your hand if you think you should attend one of its first courses.

September saw schools back and the new educational year kicking off with a new learning initiative from Fespa UK - the Sustainable Waste Academy. The first of a series of one-day courses - developed to educate companies about all aspects of sustainable waste management in the print chain - took place on 27 September, with those involved in its coming together the initial group. The wider print/signage community is being invited to the next sessions, running 19 October, 22 November and 14 December at the association’s HQ in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

Cough up £199 (less if you’re a Fespa UK member) and you can benefit from the course, which has been created by Fespa UK managing director Suzi Ward and its sustainability consultant Jon Hutton, director of Reconomy - the company it works with on the Waste Management Scheme set-up early last year.    

Hutton will deliver the actual course content in this initial Sustainable Waste Academy printer/signage/graphics programme - which will be repeated to groups of no more than eight on each of the dates given above. Ward says the plan is for a three-stage expansion of the academy’s offering, with a subsequent course aimed at suppliers of materials to the print sector and another at printers together with their clients - dates/details for these were yet to be decided at the time of going to press.

In time, the expectation is that the academy will also offer bespoke courses for larger PSPs that want to train a number of their staff on the specific products they use.

By attending the one of the first printer/signage/graphics waste courses you’ll get an overview of the key areas of waste management and be made aware of the tools to drive environmental efficiency throughout your business.

Each of the day-long session (10am-3pm) will look at:

  • The changing landscape and attitudes of print consumer waste
  • How to effectively handle your waste management Addressing greenwashing
  • Understanding the waste and recycling industries
  • Establishing how contractors handle and process your waste
  • How material choices reflect end-of-campaign treatment
  • Engaging with your clients on all matters of  sustainability

The training room has so far been filled with sample materials from suppliers such as Spandex, All Print Supplies, Soyang, Paper Graphics, Premier Paper/ Dufaylite, Amari Plastics, Antalis, CMYUK, Pyramind and Grafityp, and Ward is eager for more, saying: “We welcome all material suppliers to send us samples as we would like to have as many varieties as possible in our sustainability room.

“The samples are not all sustainable alternatives. We encouraged companies to send all their product lines as sustainable materials are not what this is about - it is about dealing with products that are used on a daily basis throughout the industry which will give the delegates the opportunity to discuss the products they work with and understand how and where these materials are treated as waste, as well as how they can best influence and drive sustainability.”

Indeed, the course has been designed to show those businesses already on the waste journey how they can use what they are doing to promote their business to clients and to provide them with the information they need to stand out from the crowd.

“After working with Jon on Fespa UK waste management projects for over two years now, while there is a lot of useful information out there for businesses, there is also a lack of clarity and a huge gap in understanding the reality of waste management and what is achievable within print and signage,” Ward says.

“Both Jon and I are passionate about being able to offer businesses the opportunity to grow their knowledge in a way that will empower them to have open and honest conversations with their clients about what can realistically be achieved with their end-of-use products. There is also too much greenwashing out there and this will give businesses the confidence to challenge what they are being told and ask the right questions, so they know that what they are being told is true,”

 Hutton adds: “During these courses you’ll be acquiring the tools and understanding to make a positive impact, differentiate projects and meet the expectations of an increasingly conscious world.’’


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