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EPA Recognizes Southern Graphic Systems, Inc. for its Commitment to Reducing Waste

Release Date: 6/7/2004
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543 & Joan Schafer, 215-814-5143

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543 & Joan Schafer, 215-814-5143

RICHMOND, Va. – In a ceremony today in Richmond, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deputy director designate for the Office of Solid Waste, Maria Parisi Vickers, recognized Southern Graphic Systems, Inc. for being the first company in the Richmond area to enroll in the voluntary national waste minimization partnership program.

“As a member of the greater Richmond community, Southern Graphic Systems, Inc. has taken steps to go above and beyond environmental compliance. The company is committed to finding new and innovative ways to reduce pollution while still making a great product and earning a profit. That’s no small effort,@ said Vickers.

The new voluntary program challenges businesses and manufacturers to become more environmentally aware and to adopt a resource conservation ethic that results in less waste, more recycling, and more environmentally sound products.

As a new waste minimization partner, Southern Graphic Systems, Inc. has committed to eliminate the amount of lead waste generated in two of its manufacturing processes. By replacing the lead anodes in its chrome strip operation and replacing lead anodes in the chrome-plating operation with titanium strips, Southern Graphic Systems will eliminate approximately 310 pounds of lead waste per year by May 2005.

Southern Graphics Systems, Inc., a business of Alcoa, supplies photographic and digital images and manufactures flexographic printing plates and cylinders for the packaging printing industry. The company has an aggressive pollution prevention program that includes a goal of 50 percent reduction in waste generation by 2007.

In 2002, Southern Graphic Systems, Inc., implemented a source reduction technique to improve process efficiency by replacing the de-chrome process with a new tank system and alternate de-chrome solution. This process change reduced hazardous waste generation by 92 percent (more then 8300 gallons annually), eliminated 54,000 gallons of wastewater per year, and saved the company more than $16,500 annually.

Waste minimization not only means polluting less; it means saving money, too. Participating companies throughout America are learning that reducing or eliminating waste can also mean greater production efficiency, an improved image in their community, and increased profits.

EPA created the national waste minimization partnership program, one of EPA=s family of voluntary partnership programs, in order to reduce 30 highly-toxic, priority chemicals found in our nation=s hazardous waste.

The national waste minimization partnership program seeks solutions that prevent pollution at the source, by recovering or recycling chemicals which cannot easily be eliminated or reduced at the source.

EPA’s goal is to work with industry and the public to reduce the presence of the 30 priority chemicals in hazardous waste by 50 percent by the year 2005, compared to amounts generated in 1991. For more information about the National Waste Minimization Partnership Program, go to:

About Southern Graphic Systems, Inc.

Southern Graphic Systems is one of the largest pre-media and image carrier service providers in North America. Their clients include some of the major consumer product companies, such as Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, Nabisco, Philip Morris, Nestle and also the major packaging printers in North America. Their services include creative package design, packaging artwork, pre-press graphic services and image carriers such as printing cylinders and printing plates. Markets served include food, beverage, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, household goods and personal care. SGS has been in business for more than 55 years and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

About Alcoa, Inc.

Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa’s businesses as a single solution to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap® aluminum foil, Alcoa® wheels, and Baco® household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 120,000 employees in 41 countries.