Technical
BRC Program
NAPIM Bio/Renewable Content Program for Printing Inks
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NAPIM launched its BioRenewable Content (BRC) program in early 2009 as one component of a larger program focusing on the environmental impact of printing ink. The BRC program was developed to respond to both printer and print buyer demands for information related to their supply chain’s efforts aimed at reducing or minimizing environmental impact. Although printing ink represents a relatively limited percentage by weight of a printed substrate/package it is still a viable, recognizable area for sustainability improvement. As print consumers continue to press sustainability objectives further down their supply chains, efforts of an ink manufacturer to improve the printing ink formulation is a positive component in a more comprehensive sustainability initiative by the printer. BRC identified inks are not designated as “greener” or more environmentally friendly materials, however, the use of some percentage bioderived materials is frequently recognized as a positive environmental initiative.

  • The BRC program identifies the use of bio-derived renewable resources in printing ink formulations. BRC program participation requires the submission of information detailing the amount of bioderived component in an individual printing ink formulation. Submissions are reviewed for technical accuracy and completeness by NAPIM. Upon approval a company specific registration number is issued. BRC certified formulations are listed on the NAPIM website for verification by the printer. NAPIM also issues distinctive BRC graphics for use by both the ink company and the printer using the BRC certified ink formulations. All formulation/product information submitted under the BRC program is managed confidentially by NAPIM. Only registered product names and BRC indexes are listed on the NAPIM website. Since its inception, the BRC program has been very popular with both member and non-member ink companies and suppliers. Approximately 300 ink formulations and raw materials have been registered and new inquiries are received on a regular basis. NAPIM member companies, both suppliers and ink companies, are entitled to a limited number of no-charge BRC registrations. Registration fees are paid by non-member ink companies and suppliers wishing to participate in the program. If you are interested in registering your ink formula or product call the NAPIM (770-209-7291) office for more information.



The American Soybean Association administers the "Soy Ink Seal". Soybean oil must be the predominant vegetable oil, with vegetable drying oils added as needed, but not to exceed the level of soybean oil set out in the respective formulation. Alcohol esters of soybean oil may be substituted directly for soybean oil in news, sheet-fed, cold-set and business forms inks to obtain the minimum concentration standard. The minimum soybean oil concentration for heat-set inks increased to 15% (by weight) when alcohol esters of soybean oil replace soybean oil in this formulation.

The Vegetable Ink Printing Act of 1994 - Prohibits any Federal agency from performing or procuring lithographic printing using ink containing oil if the ink contains less than a specified percentage of vegetable oil. Provides for waiver of such prohibition (allowing the use of petroleum-based ink) in certain circumstances for considerations of suitability or cost.