My latest direct mail piece for Moosejaw is our Summer Gear '09 book. As with any significant direct mail project the quantity of printed material used (and let's be honest - a percentage of it ends up in the trash) is enough to produce a decent impact on the environment.
For this book I really wanted to go with at least a 30% Post Consumer Waste Recycled Paper. Creative Directors and VPs of Marketing must make this sort of commitment when your operation is heavy into print. It is essential to include this sort of social responsibility into any developed brand these days.
Through our printer we managed to get quotes for FSC (or Forest Stewardship Council) certified stock. I was unfamiliar with FSC at first, but have come to understand that FSC is the new news. Here's the important stuff:
- FSC paper can be comprised of virgin, recycled or alternative fibers. The source, however, has to be an FSC certified operation. This can include well-managed forests, controlled sources or recycled wood or fiber plants.
- They operate on a chain-of-custody certification system. This means that evey step of the process has to be approved and certified (chemical treatment, ink, how the book is bound, etc.)
- The certification process is no joke. Certified sources must comply with strict requirements about habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples or wildlife. If the source produces recycled or alternative fibers they must comply with guidelies concerning chemical treatment, resulting effluence,sustainable management, etc.
- The FSC label represents that a print piece has been produced under the highest social and environmental standards in the marketplace.
- The One Million Inaugural Invitations printed by Barack Obama were done so on FSC certified paper.
The pricing works so we'll be printing on FSC-certified stock with a 30% recycled content.