“We asked about doing that and they (the standards body) said no one had ever done it before. They thought it would be too much work to tackle both at once,” Donald Samuels recalls.
Pictorial ended up getting its way and, in 1997, became the first dual-certified printing company. The tracking and reporting required for ISO certification has given the company a leg up in going after other certifications, reports Gary Pawlaczyk, vice president of sales and marketing.
“The ISO standard is the foundation companies should build on,” he says. “When the auditors came out to conduct our FSC review, they asked about our other certifications. They went right to the materials we prepared for the ISO standards and said we already basically answered all of the things they needed to know.
“FSC certification is about process control and being able to trace paper coming into the shop, all the way through production and prove that you did run the job on that paper,” Pawlaczyk explains.
Implementing the ISO practices put everybody at Pictorial on the same page, according to Donald Samuels. “Now our goal is to make sure that our industry follows good standards and practices.”
“We have a full-time compliance officer, but everyone in our facility takes ownership of our quality and environmental initiatives,” adds Pawlaczyk. “We live that commitment every day and our hope for the industry is that it (environmental responsibility) won’t just be something companies market. ‘Green washing’ is something that has come into vogue.”
Along with its ISO and FSC certifications, Pictorial also has FSI chain-of-custody certification, is recognized as being carbon neutral through the Go Zero program of The Conservation Fund and has implemented the U.S. EPA Environmental Performance Track program. The company planted more than 5,000 trees in a southern New Jersey forest to offset the entire carbon footprint of its operations. It elected to get SFC and SFI certified in order to be able to offer clients a broader range of sustainably produced stocks, particularly coated papers.