Every company wants to minimise its impact on the environment and run their business operations responsibly and effectively, but could you be doing more?

Many companies specify that they use FSC stock in their Corporate Sustainability Policy but often this message is missed by those people ‘at the coal face’ who are challenged to deliver print on a ‘cheapest wins’ basis. FSC stock will nearly always be more expensive than standard ‘house’ stock.

Many large organisations like Cannon, Office Depot and Color Co have adopted aspects of a sustainability policy that goes one step further than the norm.

These include a maximum limit of 20 printed pages per day for each staff member, and setting all printing to double-sided; using paper stock and suppliers that are FSC certified; removing personal waste paper bins from staff and contributing to charitable organisation within the environmental sector in order to put something back in.

Could your company adopt some of these ideas, or create some of your own to put into your Corporate Sustainability Policy?

But what is FSC?

Half of the timber harvested world wide is used to make paper. It is vital that everyone involved in this sector makes a commitment to responsible use of the world’s resources.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) offers a solution which enables you to demonstrate, through independent certification, that the paper products you sell or use in your business come from well managed sources and exclude the risk of using illegally logged timber or funding conflict. It also gives options for maximising the use of post-consumer recycled paper.

1. You can buy wood products, from all types of forest, with a clear conscience when you see the FSC logo. FSC certified forests are managed with consideration for people, wildlife and the environment.
2. The FSC label guarantees that the trees that are harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally.
3. Parts of the forest are protected entirely, in order to protect rare animals and plants.
4. FSC protects the rights of indigenous people to use the forest. If they have sacred sites in the forest these are exempt from felling.
5. The forest owner must use local workers to run the forest, and provide training, safety equipment and a decent salary. The forest owner is often obliged to support the community in other ways, such as through the development of schools.
6. FSC is a market-based initiative which also ensures better conditions for the forest and the people whose livelihoods depend on it.
7. FSC gives an assurance that future generations will be able to enjoy the benefits of the forest.
8. All the wood is tracked from the forest to the store. Every link between the forest and the consumer is certified to make it clearly identifiable which wood is FSC certified and which is not.
9. FSC is the only wood certification scheme endorsed by the major environmental charities, including WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust.
10. The FSC label is not only available on wood for furniture. It can also be found on floors, decking, paper, printed matter, charcoal, kitchen utensils, even venison.

Courtesy of Forestry Stewardship Council.