October 2020
In an interview with the SGP Lead Auditor, get to know Wendy Nadan as she shares the ins and outs of the virtual audit and how the SGP Impact Tracker really makes a difference for our certified facilities.

Q: Wendy, how long have you been an auditor? In that time, how long have you been an auditor for SGP? 
A: I obtained my ISO Lead Auditor designation about 15 years ago and joined SGP as an auditor after the beta sites had been certified in 2008. So I have been with SGP for a long time and have grown up with the certification as it has evolved.

Q: How many facilities do you typically visit a year? 
A: Well there are no facility visits at the moment due to the virus that has devastated the business environment and claimed too many lives. In ordinary times I would audit somewhere around half a dozen facilities a year. We had several other auditors make visits as well. That has slowed down in 2020 as many facilities have struggled to keep their doors open (some SGP facilities did shut down for a while), which had the knock-on effect of delaying sustainability activities.

Q: With moving to a virtual audit, how has this adjusted your work? How have facilities been able to adapt? 
A: The virtual audit has made scheduling easier as there are no auditor/facility schedules to coordinate and travel to arrange. However, as I already mentioned, many facilities are working with reduced personnel, staff working from home or re-assigned to different roles which has delayed completion of sustainability activities and hence the audit. Facilities are doing tremendously well at adapting and have embraced the new audit style.

Q: Virtually or in-person, what is typically the most challenging item facilities have on its checklists? How do you help them through this?
A: Currently the greatest difficulty is populating the annual reports on the SGP Impact Tracker, which must be completed before an audit can be scheduled. I am working one-on-one with many facilities to identify the easy uploads and then knock off the remaining items one at a time. The list of documents for the annual report seems daunting at first but they are not all equal. Some can be carried over from the previous year with a quick review whilst others have more meat to them.

Q: What are the key signs that you are meeting with a facility that is prepared for its audit? Any signs if they are not?
A: The SGP Impact Tracker has really eliminated this problem. The annual reports must be complete on the Tracker before a recertification audit can be schedules and the new certification report must be complete for new facilities. So the Tracker can be used as a kind of to-do list for facilities to see what is outstanding in any given year.

Q: We require our facilities to use the SGP Impact Tracker. How does this really make a difference? 
A: The Tracker is a central repository for documents. It is surprisingly common that the individual coordinating the sustainability system moves on and leaves someone else to pick up the reins. In the past, this has left some facilities digging out of a hole as they couldn’t locate documentation
and hence had nothing to work with. That problem no longer exists so it is far easier to transition in new personnel.

Also, the Tracker now has a comprehensive set of templates that facilities can use if they don’t have a report format already developed. So for example, there is a template for each kind of required template. Some can be used as is (e.g. the sustainability management system (SMS) audit template) whereas some need to be customized  (e.g. regulatory compliance audit templates). So, for those facilities that need some help understanding what level of effort is expected, the templates are a great place to start.

Q: From an auditor’s perspective, what value does the SGP Impact Tracker bring to a facility? 
A: The Tracker makes the core SMS documents available to the auditor for review before they come on-site. It is much easier to see if there are deficiencies ahead of the audit and get those addressed so the on-site time can be used more effectively. Prior to the Tracker, facilities would send in a hard copy form with check boxes that stated they had completed required activities. Now however, the auditor can actually see those documents and assess them ahead of time.

Q: What is the most beneficial part of the SGP Impact Tracker now that audits are virtual? 
A: Obviously it makes documents more accessible. The Tracker is currently under review to see if it can be expanded to allow for further document uploads that are required for a virtual audit. Currently these documents are exchanged ad-hoc with the auditor but adding a page where they can be organized on the Tracker will make it a lot to organize the audit.

Q: Lastly, how can a facility best prepare for the virtual audit by using the SGP Impact Tracker? 
A: Make sure documents uploaded to the Tracker are complete. For the training items, include a description of how and when your training plan was rolled out with sample sign in sheets or records.

For information on becoming an SGP Certified Facility, visit our website at www.sgppartnership.org.
Community Day is the Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership’s premiere conference for thought leaders in the sustainable printing industry. The event brings together printers, suppliers and Fortune 500 brands to advance the industry’s sustainability performance. Through focused presentations and networking opportunities, the event creates a community of practice that allows participants to connect, learn and build a new future together.
With the start of the 2020 fall semester and a new, distant learning school year, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County (BBBSWC) needed to adapt its site-based mentoring program. The program brings together children, Littles, with adult mentors, Bigs. Many of the Littles are being raised by a single mom or by grandparents. With the guidance of a Big, the Littles are better able to set goals, build confidence and make healthy choices. Littles come to rely upon these special friendships and the impact is immeasurable 

BBBSWC partners with various businesses in the region and while most businesses support the organization through fundraising, Hub Labels of Hagerstown, MD, took a different approach. Hub Labels' President, Thomas Dahbura, allows any employee to use one hour of their workday per week to participate in the mentoring program.
“We are thankful for our Bigs and the dedication they have shown to their Littles,” states Tom Kline, chief executive officer at BBBSWC. “Finding time to mentor a child can seem like a lot to take on, but we offer a variety of programs to fit into even the busiest life.” The program has three options for mentors that vary in time commitment and flexibility. This includes the Sport Buddies Program, which has the most flexibility and the least amount of time commitment, a site-based model which has been the most impacted by the pandemic, and a community-based program. “PreCOVID, some people selected to meet with their Little in their school environment for one hour every week but with school being virtual this year, these Bigs are meeting via Zoom or switching to our community model and meeting with their Little at parks and other spaces.” 

“Here at Hub, I encourage employees to be an active participant of the community,” says Dahbura. “By paying employees one hour per week to be fully engaged with a child, I am removing any obstacle that might prevent that person from volunteering.” Two of Hub’s employees, Tracey Miller and Arnold Crouse, have served as Bigs in the program for more than 4 years. Both started out in the site-based program and eventually transferred to the community-based program. Arnold was recognized in 2016 as the recipient of the Meyer Berkson Award and Tracey received the Alice Sendindiver Award in 2017 for their outstanding service. 

“Everybody understands intuitively that mentoring is impactful,” states Kline. “We have all had mentors in our life to help us and guide us to grow and learn. In fact, research shows that mentoring programs like BBBSWC helps kids improve academically, create healthy relationships, gain confidence and make healthier choices. I hope more businesses consider a model similar to what Hub Labels has done to support our organization. The impact that mentoring has on these children is life changing.”
To learn more about Hub Labels, please visit their site listing at http://sgppartnership.org/printer/hub-labels-inc/.