As a designer, I use a lot of paper. I use the most paper when printing jobs for clients. Nothing like printing 25,000 copies of something to use up a ton of paper. These days I often get asked to choose certified paper for print jobs. So what's the difference between FSC and SFI certifications?
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- Never harvests more than what grows back
- Protects biodiversity and endangered species
- Saves rare ancient trees
- Guards local streams
- Supports the local people
- Uses narrow skidding trails so as not to disrupt the rest of the forest
- Prohibits replacement by tree plantations
- Bans toxic chemicals
- Bans genetically modified trees (no GMO)
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
- Allows large clearcuts
- Allows logging close to rivers and streams that harms water supplies
- Allows use of toxic chemicals
- Allows conversion of old-growth forests to tree plantations
- Allows use of genetically modified trees
Some certification is probably better than no certification and I think SFI certification is improving its standards but at this point, I'm choosing FSC.
From a purely practical point of view, if you are a tight print schedule, FSC tends to be more responsive with my local vendors (getting back within hours) rather than SFI (24-36 hrs).