How Our Use of Paper Impacts the Environment
Caring for the earth and our environment is becoming a critical focus for businesses as well as individuals. Organizations are examining fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, “green” architecture and construction, improved recycling initiatives and more. One way the advertising industry—and any organization that uses and produces paper products—can aid conservation efforts is to specify “FSC-certified” paper.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was created in 1993 to support sustainable forestry worldwide. Its principles, criteria and standards span economic, social and environmental concerns in more than 57 countries. FSC new paper and other forest products are harvested from renewable sources (managed forests) instead of endangered South American and Indonesian rain forests.

Ten to 15% of all corporate expenditures come from paper and print,* so businesses have an obligation to make sure they are using the smartest, most ecological options available. Furthermore, paper and print products represent the third largest users of fossil fuels* (hydrocarbons). When fossil fuels are burned they release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to overall global warming.

By purchasing and using FSC-certified products, businesses can help protect rain and American forests, and reduce the amount of toxic solid waste in our landfills. Plus, it’s great PR: using the FSC logo on your printed materials tells your customers or members that you are actively concerned about environmental ethics, not just the bottom line. An environmental benefit statement, or “Echo Box,” on your printed materials can display the amount of natural resources you saved by using FSC-certified paper.


Talk to Your Printer

If you’re not already using FSC-certified products with your printer, here are five key questions to help get the conversation started:

1. Do you offer FSC-certified products?

2. How can I be sure that my print pieces are, in fact, FSC-certified?

3. What is the FSC approval process and how much time will it add to my print job?

4. What types of papers, inks and specialty processes are available?

5. Can you show me how to create an “Echo Box” on my printed materials so my customers can see the amount of natural resources we helped to save?

And remember: purchasing FSC-certified products is not limited to high-end print jobs. You can use FSC paper for everyday office printing, faxing and copying.

For more information on the Forest Stewardship Council, please visit www.fscus.org.

 * according to the Woodside Institute

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