Recycled Paper: Seven Ways to Take Action
It’s easy to say you want to learn about using recycled paper, but it’s not a whole lot more difficult to do something about it. Consider these seven pointers:
1 If you’re a large cataloger, act on this changing climate now, plain and simple. Organizations like Forest Ethics will be on your tail soon enough if they’re not already.
2 If you’re a small to medium sized catalog, such as my previous employer — Lydia’s Uniforms, where we mailed about 20 million catalogs a year — learn about this issue; use it to your advantage. All catalogers can present themselves as environmentally friendly without having to immediately change their suppliers and/or put recycled content into all of their books.
3 Regardless of your size, familiarize yourself with the FSC and find out what it means to be certified.
4 Learn about post-consumer waste product and availability, and start the process of a genuine cost analysis to see how a 10 percent post-consumer waste product varies from a virgin product, leaving all players in the supply chain the same if possible.
5 Familiarize yourself with your recycled paper suppliers and find out if they have environmental policies, as well as where the product is coming from.
6 Familiarize yourself with the ancillary issues such as “chain of custody,” “Boreal Forest” and other key issues.
7 Post an environmental policy that’s easy to find on your site, even if it’s only a promise to customers that you’re working toward green products. Just make it known that you’re aware of recycled paper issues and acknowledge them.
If you’re a large cataloger with stores, create a comprehensive plan that works toward green product content, otherwise you’ll become a public target for these groups. Printing some books with post consumer waste content at a small premium is pennies on the dollar cheaper than a negative environmental image.
Check out www.forestethics.org/article.php?list=type&type=13. Or, just look to your nearest competitors, because sooner or later they will post this information and use it to their advantage to build some public goodwill, unless you beat them to the punch.