FSC Certification – what does it really prove?

August 7, 2012

in Environmental

At Xcaliba we have had FSC® Chain-of-Custody certification for a number of years and we still think there is a degree of misconception on what it means.  Hopefully this post will help explain a little more about what it represents and how it can show your commitment in ensuring all your paper-based products are sourced from responsible and sustainable resources.




What is FSC Chain-of-Custody?

The Forestry Stewardship Council® (FSC) are an international organisation dedicated to promoting environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.  The Chain-of-Custody certification proves that from the forest until delivery of your printed paper product; the aims of the FSC are adhered to and complied with, at all touch-points of the production chain.

Why should you ask for your paper to be FSC approved?

By specifying FSC approved paper you are promoting the aims of the FSC as well as reducing the use of paper made from wood sourced from unsustainable sources.  When you do request FSC papers you are able to use the FSC certification ticktree, relevant for that paper, on your printed material – allowing your customers to see your commitment to the conservation of forests as well as the wildlife and local communities associated with them.

FSC or Recycled?

The Woodland Trust says that where recycled papers are not appropriate then FSC papers are the next best option.  This is an area of debate with some experts advocating FSC over recycled papers due to the energy used and bi-products of, recycling printed papers.   The FSC have now developed a certification system that includes recycled source, be it part or 100% recycled.

Use of FSC certification ticktree logos

Each FSC paper-type allows the use of an FSC Chain of Custody certification logo to be placed on your printed material.  Although there are restrictions on size and colour of logo (we are happy to advise you on this) there are a number of versions available, subject to the source of pulp used in the paper production.  Examples of logo types and what they mean can be found in the gallery at the foot of this post.  You can still specify FSC certified materials without using the ticktree, if it conflicts with your corporate guidelines.

What are the costs?

Many people think that specifying FSC certified materials and using the appropriate ticktree carries a cost implication, this is another misconception.  In nearly all cases there are no costs to clients for using FSC certified materials.  The certification costs are borne by Xcaliba and there are no premiums added to the paper costs.

Finding out more

If you’d like to know more about the FSC then please visit their website or if you’re interested in finding out about the myths and facts surrounding the environmental issues of paper making then apply for a free copy of our publication.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: