FSC Printing

May 21, 2007

You are most likely already aware of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and know that FSC certified lumber is preferred for use in green construction because it is sustainably managed and harvested. It also has a chain of custody reporting system that ensures that everyone in the processing chain is following the correct procedures with their materials sourcing and their handling of the material. However, construction is not the only place where you will find FSC certified products.

The printing industry is another huge user of wood and forest products. And, as with construction uses, FSC is heavily involved in promoting sustainable practices for printing and paper-making uses. In order to use the FSC trademark on a product, the producer must be a member of FSC. Every step of the way, from the management of the forest and the cutting of the trees, through the pulping of the wood and the manufacture of the paper must meet FSC guidelines, and the product produced carries a certificate that has been independently verified by a third-party source. For a printer to use the FSC trademark on a catalog, for example, they need to be certified themselves as FSC chain-of-custody certificate holders.

"It's what drove local faucet-maker Moen Inc. to ask St. Ives (a printing company) to print catalogs on FSC-certified paper. As a supplier to the construction industry, which is becoming increasingly green, it's important that Moen demonstrate it's doing its part." Another landmark coming this summer, Scholastic Inc. is also going to be using FSC paper for at least 65% of its initial printing of the seventh book in the Harry Potter series.

As more and more people are learning is the case with green building, printing with FSC paper is not necessarily more expensive. Many kinds of FSC certified paper also contain some recycled content, but because paper degrades as it is recycled, some virgin wood pulp needs to be used to provide the necessary strength. FSC works to ensure that the stock for that comes from sustainable sources.

According to the FSC website, "Over the past 12 years, over 84 million hectares in more than 82 countries have been certified according to FSC standards while several thousand products are produced using FSC certified wood and carrying the FSC trademark. FSC operates through its network of National Initiatives in 40 countries."

via: Ann Arbor News and Newhouse News Service

Links:
Forest Stewardship Council

FSC Paper


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