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The U.S. is the largest market for paper products in the world, producing 90 million tons of paper annually and, in-turn, consuming about 100 million tons, according to the Forest Stewardship Council, U. S. A. (FSC) So even though we think we live in a virtual world, we still love our paper products!

With that said, what responsibility is it of businesses to look at it’s print products? Is it good enough to recycle waste paper and use recycled print paper? Probably not. Recycled fiber is a key element of the traditional model for responsible consumption, but it is becoming increasingly clear that forest management in the production of the wood used in paper manufacturing, has more fundamental importance than even recycled fiber, according to the FSC.

Taking the next step means carrying the FSC-certification logo on your print products. This tells the world that you support the highest social and environmental standards in the paper market. Dealing with your company’s environmental footprint can help your brand if you understand what it means to be FSC certified and stay true its mission.

According to FSC, carrying the FSC-certification logo on your print products tells the world that you support the highest social and environmental standards in the market where you use paper. Your purchase of FSC-certified paper and print products contribute to conservation, responsible management, and community level benefits for residents near the forests that provide your paper.

Certification is complex, but never-fear, it’s the job of your printer to worry about compliance issues, not you! So do your homework and check out your printer. In order for a printer to be FSC certified or to use it’s logo, or any closely related phrasing, the printer must have chain-of-custody certification. This means that your printer carries the designation and is allowed to use the logo on your materials printed by that particular print shop. Here is a list of national printers currently FSC certified.

If you’re into pulp you can get more information on actual FSC certification requirements.

Another piece of the homework pie is knowing your paper. Going to your printer with informed FSC paper choices can put your project ahead of schedule. Luckily, this information is quickly at hand down to brand name, color and finish. Keep this table at your fingertips and you’ll quickly learn your favorite eco-friendly sheets.

In a world where resource management is critical, a savvy understanding of paper management just might land you your next client.

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BY PRISMAMarch 25, 2010

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