The ‘Green’ TEAM
The problem, FSC detractors say, is that a too-stringent program has few takers, and must therefore loosen its labeling standards if it is to have any real influence.
Because adopting use of FSC-certified paper across the board is impossible for most publishers, the “Book Industry Treatise on Responsible Paper Use” (developed by the Treatise Leadership Council, an industry stakeholder group) calls for an industry average of 20-percent FSC-certified (or equivalent) paper usage by 2012. The goal, says Miller, is to strike a balance between what is feasible, given current supply chain realities, and “the need to reduce pressure on standing forests and use the best management practices where harvesting is occurring.”
Forest-management complexities lead some to argue that, from a practical, end-point perspective, FSC, SFI and CSA certifications are not that different.
“If you were to compare the different standards on the ground [and] visit different forests, you would not be able to see the difference,” says Barry Graedon, AbitibiBowater’s manager of sustainable forestry. “All three are focused on sustainable management, responsible harvesting, resource management, soil and water conservation, wildlife habitat and biological diversity.”
When it comes to near-term conservation goals, the use of recycled paper is probably even more critical than forest management. New technologies have allowed forward-thinking paper companies to push the bounds of the possible when it comes to the use of recycled fiber.
“We developed a vision that none of our products would have less than 30-percent recycled content,” says Normand Lecours, vice president of sales and marketing at Cascades Fine Papers Group. The company made a strategic decision to eliminate virgin content and introduce a 100-percent post-consumer product line, which has proven very successful, he says.
“You talk about hitting the market at the right time,” says Lecours. “We’ve grown tremendously over the last three years.”