Green Printing – paper choice

by Rich B

It makes sense to be as environmentally sensitive as possible with any print production – for a variety of pretty obvious reasons (which we won’t get into here!) So taking environmental responsibility as a given, then one of your most important considerations is going to be the stock you print on. Here we take a look at some of the most simple and effective steps you can take.

forest by MGSpiller

Print takes measures to protect this

The paper industry has made great strides towards sustainability over recent decades. For our part, when buying print, we want to make sure we’re not contributing to any deforestation or habitat-stripping.

To give you that peace of mind and a simple mechanism to ensure you’re buying from sustainable and environmentally-responsible sources, it’s worth finding out if your printer is PEFC and FSC accredited.

PEFC & FSC are both independent global initiatives which aim to ensure sustainable forestry management practices and to deter illegal logging and deforestation. They ensure all members of the supply chain – from forest owners through to timber yards, paper mills and printers – comply with ethical and environmental best-practice with the aim of ensuring illegally-logged wood does not enter the supply chain.

If you specify you want PEFC or FSC paper, your printer will have to have a valid and current accreditation with either of these bodies. They are regularly checked for compliance and must monitor and document all jobs carried out using certified papers. These papers can all be traced back through the supply chain to their point of origin.

So the end result is that you can sleep better and there’s a little less impact on the planet -  knowing not only that your paper hasn’t been taken from ecologically-sensitive areas – but that it’s been managed sensitively too. Also, that the workers have a guaranteed working standard and that you’re minimising any other environmental impact.

You’d expect this to have a consequent negative impact on your pocket. However, it’s probably not as much as you think. And with careful specifying of your print project (choosing the right finishing, size and weight for example) can often be entirely negated – costing the same as non FSC/PEFC paper.

Speak to your printer about environmental printing – make sure they’re accredited or certified with the FSC & PEFC – and ask them about how they’ve minimise the environmental impact of their jobs.

Forest Stewardship Council

PEFC

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