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What is FSC?

Go Green! Not the team (obviously – Go Blue!) the eco-friendly kind of green. On the football field, VPDCS is a house divided. But in the pressroom, we all unanimously agree, it’s our responsibility to be sustainable. We made the decision to become FSC-certified back in 2009 and we love being able to offer this service to our clients. But more often than not, our clients have never heard of FSC – and if they have, they don’t know why it’s beneficial.

That’s why I’m here today. Put your helmets on, because I’m going to give you a crash-course on FSC and why your association should consider it for your next print piece.

What does it mean to be FSC-certified?

FSC stands for Forestry Stewardship Council. Companies ranging from loggers and construction, to printers and packers, go through a process to become FSC certified – this includes training and designating areas for FSC material. Logging companies adhere to strict responsible logging practices that include replanting trees where others have been harvested. They are even required to clean up the tracks that the trucks created to get the wood out of the forest!

This begins the “Chain of Custody” process. FCS wood is labeled and cannot be mixed in with other lumber. Subsequent certified companies take the product and do what they do while adhering to FSC guidelines until the project is complete and the chain of custody closes.

The same is required of paper mills. They have to follow a strict process of handling and processing FSC paper. Printers, like VPDCS, have to apply for the appropriate type of logo from the FSC website that would indicate not only FSC certification, but also the percentage of recycled material that makes up that particular paper. FSC certified companies are audited once a year to make sure they are following all the guidelines set out for them by FSC.

Why does all of this matter?

Your marketing efforts likely require multiple printed pieces – renewal notices, onboarding kits, an annual directory, etc. – to current, expired, and prospective members. Wouldn’t it be comforting knowing your materials are being sent out responsibly? Using a company who is FSC-certified makes you more credible, too. It shows you care about not only your members, but also the environment.

Eager to know more?

Click here to visit the FSC website to learn more about their certification process, or click here to contact us directly!

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Article written by:

Ken Kingsley

Prepress Manager

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