View of Copy Machines.

GreenNY Specification: Printing

Covered Items

This category includes the printing of publications such as magazines, booklets, and pamphlets; corner-stitched, side-stitched, saddle-stitched or perfect bound. This category shall also include the printing of items such as brochures, envelopes, letterheads, business cards, and forms.



Printing: Any process that transfers to paper or another substrate a printed image from a negative, plate, electronic memory, electronic file, die or stencil.


Standard Setting and Certifying Programs

Various national and international standards apply to printing. They are defined here as a guide.

EcoLogo is a North American Type I environmental leadership standard setting and third-party certification program as defined by ISO 14024). It has developed environmental standards for a wide range of consumer and commercial products and certifies products meeting those standards. For additional information, visit the EcoLogo website at:

Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP): is an organization that provides voluntary audits to criteria for sustainable printing practices. For additional information, visit the SGP website at:



Recycled Content:

Per Executive Order No. 4, all affected state entity publications shall be printed on 100% post-consumer recycled content paper. Where paper with 100% post-consumer recycled content is not available or does not meet the required form, function and utility, paper procurements shall use post-consumer recycled content to the extent practicable. Non-recycled content shall be derived from a sustainably-managed renewable resource and certified as such through an appropriate third-party certification program recognized by the paper industry, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) to the extent practicable unless the cost of the product is not competitive. To the maximum extent practicable and whenever feasible, affected state entities shall apply these standards to other printed items such as brochures, envelopes, letterheads, business cards, and forms. In addition, affected state entities are encouraged to print publications and other printed items on processed chlorine free (PCF) paper to the maximum extent practicable.

A recycled paper logo or the words “Printed on Recycled Paper” shall be printed on all affected state entity publications printed on recycled paper.

Duplexing and Reporting of Paper Use:

All affected state entity publications shall be printed on two sides to the maximum extent practicable.

All contracts for printing shall require the contractor to report to the ordering entity on the invoice the amount of paper used by weight or volume of finished product.


All contracts for printing shall, to the maximum extent practicable, require the use of water-based or vegetable based lithographic ink, which will reduce the amount of VOCs released into the environment. Ink used shall also meet the EO No. 4 specification for ink at the EO 4 website.

Environmental Performance:

Affected state entities are encouraged to issue contracts for printing in which contractors:

  1. Meet the EcoLogo Certification Criteria Document for Lithographic Printing Services (UL 2803) or the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership criteria; and
  2. Adhere to the following best practices:
    • Avoid the use of: heavy metals, toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, alcohol, chlorinated solvents, silver halide coatings, and other hazardous materials;
    • Maximize the use of: water-based developers, adhesives, cleaning systems, coatings, varnishes, and water-based, low VOC and less hazardous press chemicals;
    • Maximize the use of: digital on-demand printing and direct-to-plate prepress systems using process-free (processless) printing plates;
    • Maximize the in-process recycling and recovery of press cleaning solvents, fixer, ink, silver, developer, and rinse water;
    • Maximize the recycling of paper, ink, film, aluminum plates, and other materials; and
    • Make printed materials easier to recycle, for example, by using glueless bindings and uncoated paper and avoiding heavy ink coverage and dark or fluorescent papers.