Direct Mail — With a Conscience
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative program, developed by the American Forest & Paper Association, is designed for use in the United States and Canada. SFI is intended to spur both public and private forest owners to meet standards for the environmentally responsible use of their land, with an emphasis on reforestation.
The Forest Stewardship Council, on the other hand, is aimed at promoting responsible use of forest products from raw material through finished product. As a global organization, the standards adhered to by FSC members vary, but participation requires that forests and forest products are managed in “exemplary” fashion.
In addition to landowners, FSC offers certification to any company that sells timber or forest products as part of its “Chain of Custody” program. Any companies that sell products from FSC-certified sources can use the FSC label and note that their products are FSC-certified.
If your organization determines that using paper produced by FSC or SFI members is important to its environmental stewardship initiatives, keep in mind that not all companies in the print production cycle may be members. FSC and SFI membership primarily is concentrated in landowners, foresters, paper mills and other manufacturers of wood-based products.
The bottom line is that both organizations have the same goal: to create a comprehensive set of principles that seek to meet the need for forestry products in our economy while protecting and conserving the environment. To learn more, ask your suppliers about programs their paper vendors have in place.
A word about soy inks
Recycled paper is only part of the equation if you’re looking to create environmentally friendly fundraising communications. Vegetable-based inks, such as soy inks, have been shown to greatly reduced the output of volatile organic compounds compared with petroleum-based inks.
As with recycled papers, vege-table oil-based inks constantly are being improved in terms of consistency, color accuracy, drying time and cost. In addition to soy inks, which are the most popular vegetable-based inks, your printer might have rapeseed or linseed oil-based inks available for use with both recycled and non-recycled papers.