What is FSC?
The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) was established in 1993, (just 2 years after RPM) and is headquartered in Bonn, Germany. It is a global forest certification system established for forests and forest products and is used across the globe, with national standards established in 57 countries. It works. As of 1st September 2020 they had certified 213,002,796 hectares of forest worldwide including an area nearly the size of Wales in the UK. They protect indigenous peoples, aim to reduce the amount of pesticides used and enable sustainable and responsible procurement of wood and wood products.
Forests play a critical role in regulating the earth’s climate. By removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they form the world’s largest terrestrial store of atmospheric carbon. It is vital that we protect them.
What about paper?
FSC certified paper means that the wood pulp has come from managed forests that are farmed.
FSC paper looks and feels no different to non-FSC paper so it’s the obvious choice. It forms the majority of our stock paper and is just as affordable.
Paper usage in general is on the decline. Many large European mills have closed since newspapers and magazines fell in popularity. More than half of the paper used in the UK now goes on packaging. Have a look at the next item that comes through your letterbox and see if the supplier has made the change to FSC yet.
What is the Chain of Custody?
This is a documented trail that leads back to the forest where the wood came from. It means you can be sure that the item with the label has a guaranteed source. Each year an auditor from the certification body visits and makes sure that we are compliant with the requirements of the standard. We use Interface NRM.
RPM is proud to hold the FSC Chain of Custody which demonstrates our real commitment to sustainability and the environment.
Using the Logo
You many have noticed a logo a little like this one on some printed items:
This means the item was produced by an approved printer who holds the Chain of custody. The number at the bottom is the authorised certificate number. Those who like detective stories can go to the FSC certificate check area and find out exactly who printed it, which can be very useful if you are in marketing! Sometimes you find that a producer is claiming to hold the certification but they don’t. Or perhaps their certificate has expired, so it’s always worth checking.
FSC and you
If you are selling an eco-friendly product or want to demonstrate your commitment to environmental protection you will want to add the logo to your artwork.
Positioning and correct logo selection can be a little tricky so our FSC team will help your designers to ensure your print proof is compliant. For instance, you cannot display the FSC promotional logo on a business card (there’s rarely room), but you could display the on-product logo if the card is made from FSC board. There are 4 colourways to choose from.
Getting approval from the certification body can take a few hours so take this into account if it’s an urgent order. Sometimes adjustments have to be made to artwork which then needs re-submitting.
We look forward to helping your business participate. And you can shout about it on FSC Friday.