Chlorine Free Paper Issues


How can a purchaser verify that a paper meets an expectation that it is the end product of a sustainably managed harvest?

LISTENING STUDY: Responses reference many methods of purchasers verifying sustainability, including Sustainable Forestry Initiative certification, Forest Stewardship Council certification, and other labeling schemes.

Trust. And a healthy dose of skepticism, with verification. - Michael Snyder, Forester

Clear and unambiguous labeling with percent content by source. - Robert R. Bryan, Forest Ecologist, Maine Audubon

Currently, FSC is the only widely accepted international certification program among independent environmental advocacy groups. - Victoria Mills, Project Manager, Corporate Partnerships, Environmental Defense

Third party certification to a recognized standard such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is a good way to guarantee that sustainably harvested materials are being used. - International Paper

Only through a third-party certification scheme that has standards that are widely accepted by conservation organizations, Indigenous people, and communities. Currently only the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) system meets these criteria. - Susan Hammond, Executive Director, Silva Forest Foundation

While consumers already select forest products based on species, grade, visual characteristics, etc., they now can identify products that provide an assurance of social and environmental responsibility on the part of the producer. To do this, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) system requires that material be tracked from the certified source, through the Chain-of-Custody (COC). This aspect of the system is the basis for any credible certification system and is the link between consumer preference and responsible, on the ground performance. - Forest Stewardship Council, Chain-of-Custody Fact Sheet

When you see the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) checkmark on furniture or lumber, you know that a trustworthy team of professionals has traced the story of that product back to the tree. FSC stands for the Forest Stewardship Council, an international nonprofit that sets standards for responsible forestry and is supported by prominent environmental groups, as well as scientists and far-sighted business leaders. You can trust the FSC checkmark to identify products that meet high environmental and ethical standards and have been independently certified.
     More and more concerned consumers care about the stories behind their wood products and are asking for FSC-certified items. To meet this demand, more companies are seeking certification, making it easier to spot the FSC label on wood products from pencils to furniture. The FSC checkmark will always help you identify lumber and products made by companies that take care of forests, protect wildlife, and help local communities prosper. - Co-op America 2001

Chain-of-custody documentation. - Frank Locantore, Co-op America

If it carries a label meeting the requirements of a forest certification standard. - Stora Enso

Sustainably Harvested Virgin Fiber: Recently, some United States forests have undergone a sustainable harvest certification process overseen by the highly regarded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit set up to spread the use of sustainable practices in forestry worldwide. In October, 1998, New Leaf manufactured the first FSC certified recycled paper (50% FSC certified virgin fiber, 30% post-consumer, 50% total recycled).
     New Leaf Paper has a strong commitment to helping create a market for sustainably harvested virgin fiber. The best system out there is the Forest Stewardship Council or FSC system. This is a set of independent standards for sustainable forestry. New Leaf paper launched the first coated FSC paper in North America. - Mendelsohn

Our goals as purchasers should always include minimizing the non-certified virgin wood content in the paper products we buy. This can be done by maximizing the amount of alternative tree-free fibers and post-consumer content in any paper products we purchase. (When you do choose a paper with wood-based content, look for Forest Stewardship Council certification). Generally speaking, less harmful pulping procedures that use less water and energy to convert fibers to paper are the added benefits of choosing paper with a lower virgin wood content. Third-party validation of fiber sources and pulping processes can bolster your assurance about a paper's origin. - Imhoff 1999

The issue of forest certification is becoming increasingly important as consumers realize that their purchasing decisions can help change how the world's forests are managed. Among the various certification schemes, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification is the only system which carries the support of environmental and social activist groups and which attempts to balance the forests' values through a multi-stakeholder process that addresses environmental, social, and economic interests. - Taiga Rescue Network 2001

Based on market research and requests from customers, the American Forest & Paper Association developed an on-product labeling program. The label may be used on products manufactured at facilities that procure raw or processed material in compliance with the label use requirements of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program. These requirements first and foremost provide that if the manufacturer owns or controls forestland, a qualified independent third party must certify that the land is managed in conformance with the SFI Standard. However, the requirements also recognize that most of these manufacturers must also purchase wood and fiber material from other sources. The label may only be used on products containing these materials if a qualified independent third party has certified that the system for procuring the materials is in conformance with the SFI Standard. - American Forest and Paper Association


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