Sustainability of Paper — Here Today, Here Tomorrow
"With the commitment of the managing partners to being as earth-friendly and environmentally responsible as possible, Pictorial already had efficient tracking and materials management procedures in place," he continues. "For other printers that want to become FSC certified, the road to success might not be as easy. The real key is top management commitment."
Once a printer has suitable procedures in place, running FSC-certified papers has little or no impact on its operations, Byrd says.
"In the beginning of the program—when few paper manufacturers and suppliers were 'on-board'—there were some premium prices associated with FSC-certified paper," he says. "But as the program has grown and been more widely embraced by all parts of the supply chain, competition has increased and the premiums have been greatly reduced.
"As anyone in the printing community knows, print buyers won't pay extraordinary premiums for a paper with features that don't bring specific value. The FSC-certified papers are getting much more competitive with the regular paper market," he observes.
According to Byrd, three pulp producers, eight paper mills and 13 paper merchants can provide FSC-certified papers. The wide range of grades now available also means that printers don't have to make sacrifices in pressroom or bindery performance to run certified papers, he says.
"As a general commercial printer, we have printed on all kinds of paper. The paper is not disruptive to our normal environmental procedures at all," Byrd reports. "Once a printer's processes are approved and the (tracking and monitoring) procedures become the norm, adherence to the program is very simple."
Gary Samuels, managing partner of operations, adds, "The real difference to us, with compliance to the standards of FSC certification through SmartWood, is the tracking of the paper and job, labeling and shipping. The paper must be tracked and documented from the time it hits the receiving dock to the time the printed piece leaves the shipping dock. Our tracking systems within our computer-integrated manufacturing systems enable us to do that efficiently and effectively."