Why Does FSC® Certified Paper Matter?
More and more, people are noticing the FSC® logo on their product packages. What does it mean? And why should you care?
FSC® stands for Forest Stewardship Council™. It is a third party certification organization that assesses the organizations that manage the care of the world’s forests. The Forest Stewardship Council™ works to make sure the forest managers are complying with federal law and international agreements, and take into account the environmental, social and economic principles and criteria of the forest. Certifiers evaluate both forest management activities (forest certification) and tracking of forest products (chain-of-custody certification). The chain-of-custody includes the forest, pulp mill, paper mill, paper, distributor, and printer.
The FSC® requires a management plan of those who manage the forest. The plan must include details of the scale and intensity of the logging and renewal operations. Long term objectives and monitoring of the forest ensure what is cut down is being replanted. If all the criteria of the FSC® are met by the management of the forest, then the forest will receive an FSC® Certification. Paper made from wood taken from FSC® certified trees is given the FSC® Certification.
I know my explanation of FSC® certified paper was lengthy and technical. But in order to learn what it means when you see the logo on a paper or wood product you need to understand the mission of the FSC® organization.
Why look for FSC® certified products?
Choosing FSC® makes a difference because only FSC®:
• protects natural forests
• prohibits the use of highly hazardous pesticides around the world
• prohibits the cultivation of genetically modified trees
• respects the right of indigenous peoples around the world
• certifies an operation annually and withdraws certification if they are out of compliance
Along with recycling, looking for products with the FSC® symbol have also taken on a greater importance with consumers, as it at least can give confidence to the consumer that the wood harvested in making the product was taken from a very well managed forest. More and more companies that produce wood and paper based products are becoming certified to use the FSC trademark. The next time you’re in the supermarket, take a look through the paper and tissue aisle and see if you can find the FSC® logo on the packaging.
I think you will find that there has been an increase in the number of manufacturers that are producing products that carry the FSC® logo in order to support their customers who are choosing environmentally and socially responsible products.
Southworth is proud to display the FSC® logo on a growing selection of our most popular paper lines. We’d love to hear your opinion. Would you be more likely to buy a paper product that was FSC® certified?