Print Management Group is FSC-Certified
What does it mean to be FSC Certified?
Becoming FSC-certified has long been a goal here at Print Management Group and we are thrilled to have finally made it a reality. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is generally considered the “gold standard” of forestry certification programs. Founded in 1993, the council has worked diligently to create stringent and specific guidelines for responsible forest management.
The FSC is focused on conscientious and respectful use of forestry products. It is the only system supported by:
The Sierra Club
The Natural Resources Defense Council
The Natural Wildlife Federation
The FSC is an international membership organization with members from diverse backgrounds. The council has created a set of 10 principles for forest management:
- Compliance with laws and FSC principles: All forest management must follow all applicable local laws, treaties, and agreements. They must also respect all FSC principles and criteria.
- Tenure and use rights and responsibilities: Long-term tenure and use rights to the land shall be clearly documented and established using legal means.
- Indigenous peoples’ rights: The rights of indigenous and native peoples shall be respected.
- Community relations and workers’ rights: Operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term well-being of forest workers and the native communities.
- Benefits from the forest: Management operations will encourage efficient utilization of all of the forest’s products and services. This will ensure economic, social and ecological benefits.
- Environmental impact: Forest management must conserve biodiversity and water resources, soils, fragile ecosystems, etc.
- Management plan: An appropriate management plan shall be written, consistently updated and implemented with long-term goals stated.
- Monitoring and assessment: Monitoring will be regularly conducted.
- Maintenance of High Conservation Value forests: Decisions in regard to HCV forests are always made with consideration to precautions.
- Plantations: Plantations shall be planned and managed according to the above principles
(Adapted from: https://ic.fsc.org/en)
As the principles illustrate, the organization’s emphasis lies squarely on environmental health with firm rules about clear-cutting, pesticides and more. FSC policy is reviewed regularly, and takes into account global differences as well as environmental and economic needs. In addition, FSC certification is mandatory at each step in the product chain of custody all the way from the forest to the consumer.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo assures you that the wood products you are buying come from forest operations that meet strict environmental, social and economic standards. A certification is valid for five years but businesses are monitored yearly to confirm that they are still meeting the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council.
The U.S. consumes 100 million tons of paper each year. That said, the Forest Stewardship Council utilizes the power of the marketplace to protect forests. Some people have been “greenwashed” to believe that the only way to stop deforestation is to NOT use forest products. This concept is neither realistic, nor is it necessary. It is a socially conscious choice to purchase products that provide ecological, social and economic benefits.
The highly-respected organization’s policies lay the groundwork for responsible forest management standards and provide guidance for best practices in forest management worldwide. Certifiers assess forest management and chain of custody operations independently from the FSC (while utilizing their standards) and provide third-party verification to guarantee the system’s integrity.
High Conservation Value (HCV)
All natural habitats have conservation values. Elements such as rare, endangered or endemic species as well as sacred sites are all contributors to conservation value. Habitats with important ecological, societal, biological and/or cultural values of outstanding significance possess high conservation values (or HCVs).
The FSC works to maintain, enhance, and promote the significance of these HCVs in many ways. For example, The Forest Stewardship Council and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) work together and share some common missions. While the FSC focuses on sustainable forest management in a broader sense, CITES works to reduce and regulate international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants. The goal is to prevent trade that might threaten the survival of species. The FSC’s common goal is to prevent the extinction of species living in forests and woods.
Implementing responsible management of biodiversity and HCVs are intertwined in the eyes of the FSC. A primary factor in protecting HCVs is ensuring activity in forests does not have a negative impact on biodiversity, yet paying attention to high conservation values is not only done through designating conservation areas. Global retailers have integrated HCV standards into their procurement and investment policies, as well.
Forests cover about ⅓ of the world today. Over 380 million acres of forest are certified by the FSC. A substantial cause of deforestation is the logging of the remaining primary forests in South America, Asia, and African countries in order to meet the growing American demand for their tropical wood products.
Unfortunately, at current rates of deforestation, the remaining biodiversity-rich natural forests are likely to disappear in 10 years or so. Having said that, nearly all paper products are now available with FSC certification and, remarkably, FSC-certified paper is often smoother and more uniform than other rougher recycled papers. FSC-certified paper is distinctive because it is usually made from virgin tree fibers.
We are certainly proud to be doing what we can to protect biodiversity and healthy forests. As for our customers, FSC certification gives the consumer the peace of mind that products come from responsibly managed forests and that they are doing their small part to protect the world’s woodlands.
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