Is FSC Certification Right for You?

Without a major overhaul or budget implications, your college or university print shop may not be able to easily change vendors, turnaround times or print quality. But, one buying factor you can control is your environmental impact.

For in-plant print shops looking to increase their credibility as sustainable providers and boost their competitive advantage, there may be no better way than Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. With recent polls showing consumers will choose products they deem more environmentally friendly 86 percent of the time if prices are close and sustainable practices becoming a major focus at colleges and universities, environmental impact continues to play a key factor in purchasing decisions.

As one of the premier environmental certification programs, FSC certification provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment as well as provide ongoing business value.

In addition to the environmental aspects of FSC certification, there are tremendous marketing and competitive advantages to being FSC certified. Many customers are now demanding FSC certified products or declaring a preference for them, giving the upper hand to FSC certified printers. FSC certification can also build status internally with your shop’s parent organization, as they must consider the demands of employees, students and other constituents for sustainable programs and environmental stewardship. Bottom line, FSC puts some pretty effective bullets in the print shop’s sales and marketing gun.

Despite these benefits, many shops have been sitting on the FSC sidelines due to the high cost of individual certification. To alleviate this situation, FSC has made group certification available to select printers. This not only reduces the cost of becoming FSC certified, it makes complying with FSC administrative and training requirements much easier.

However, the in-plant printshop market remains vastly underrepresented in FSC certification. Recognizing this gap, Printers Green Resource LLC has introduced its InGreen program to assist in-plant operations with becoming FSC certified. As a result, the in-plant printer gets a vastly reduced rate for their FSC certification and the benefit of having many of the required administrative duties performed by the program.

For more information on the program, call Rick Huntoon of Printers Green Resource LLC at 214-228-1448 or email him at rickh@ingreenprinter.com.

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