With FSC, PEFC, EU label, CSR, Carbon Footprint, Sustainable Sourcing, and now the EU Timber Regulations about to envelope us all next March, are we slowly but surely sinking under a plethora of environmental jargon and bureaucracy?
Legislation To Safeguard the Planet
The realisation of the need to have legislation to safeguard the planet is understandable, but it has introduced another cost factor dimension to most paper manufacturers and merchants (and also printers). So not only do these companies have to source the products from certificated sources, they need to employ staff to maintain the records and ensure compliance with the certification standards.
Badges of Convenience or Making a Difference
With this in mind, has it really occurred to anybody that ultimately the demands for a better environment are costing everybody wherever they are in the chain? Is there any real evidence that by insisting on say an FSC certified product, that the extra costs incurred contributes to any dramatic changes in the demographics where the trees were originally felled? Or are we simply living behind badges of convenience to tick the boxes to satisfy our customers and end users and re-creating the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ tale?
Whatever your personal views are on this subject, the pressure is increasing to provide products with impeccable credentials so that we can all be seen to support sustainable resources. The key to this argument is that paper is a sustainable resource, and the best form of media transfer available, with or without the badges.
At Gould we will continue to support and endorse initiatives relative to global environmental wellbeing and offer services to our customers to maintain this demand.
Roger Warwick – Independent Environmental Consultant