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.
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.
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
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.