FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL
FSC certified products are manufactured from FSC certified paper produced by mills which utilize FSC certified fiber. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international organization whose mission is to promote responsible management of the world's forests. FSC is the global benchmark for responsible forest management. The intent of the FSC system is to shift the market to eliminate habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples and violence against people and wildlife that may sometimes accompany logging.
BENEFITS: FSC certified products are considered more beneficial for the environment because they are made from certified fibers from well managed forests.
GREEN SEAL CERTIFIED PAPER
Envelopes converted utilizing Green Seal certified papers can be labeled indication Green Seal certified paper has been used to make the product with the permission of the manufacturer. Minimum requirements for Green Seal certified papers specify that uncoated printing and writing papers shall either: 1) contain at least 30% post-consumer material, or 2) be manufactured without using chlorine or chlorine derivatives. Green Seal is an organization which works with manufacturers, industry sectors, purchasing groups, and governments at all levels to "green" the production and purchasing chain. Products can only become Green Seal certified after rigorous testing and evaluation, including on-site plant visits.
BENEFITS: Products manufactured utilize a minimum 30% post-consumer waste which helps reduce landfill use and causes the fiber to be given new life as another product. Some of the benefits of using recycled fiber include: reduced tree harvesting, water conservation, and reduced energy use, greenhouse gases, and pollution.
Envelopes are made with process chlorine free paper and are certified by the Chlorine Free Products Association (CFPA)
PROCESSED CHLORINE FREE (PCF) is reserved for recycled content paper. This includes all recycled fibers used as a feedstock that meet EPA guidelines for recycled or post-consumer content. PCF papers have not been rebleached with chlorine containing compounds. A minimum of 30% post-consumer content is required.
BENEFITS: Products manufactured utilizing certified PCF paper are considered less harmful to the environment due to the reduction of environmental impacts associated with chlorine and chlorine compounds which significantly reduce a product's environmental impact.
Products are made with paper which contains post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled fiber or both. The type of fiber and percent contribution to the total fiber makeup varies by paper ad mill. Post-consumer waste (PCW) fiber is generated from consumer end products that have been separated or diverted from the solid waste stream. Items that make up this type of fiber include office wastepaper, mail and magazines from people's home, and used packaging from delivered products.
BENEFITS: Products manufactured utilizing paper containing post-consumer waste are considered less harmful to the environment due to the reduction of environmental impacts associated with the manufacture of virgin fiber paper. Some of the benefits claimed from the use of paper suing PCW waste are: reduced tree harvesting and water conservation, as well as reduction in energy use, greenhouse gasses and pollution.
Products printed utilizing lithography can be printed with soy ink as a replacement for conventional oil-based inks.
Soy Ink contains non-toxic soybean oil, the same oil which is used in cooking oils, dressings and thousands of other foods and beverages. Soybean oil es extracted from soybeans primarily grown in the United States. The United Soybean Board and the National Soy Ink Information Center states, "Using soy ink helps the nations' economy by providing a market for a domestic crop while diminishing dependence on foreign resources such as petroleum oil." Soy inks create rich, vivid color that "pop" off the page. They are low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's). Soy inks are safe, sustainable, made from renewable resource and are more easily stripped from paper during the de-inking and recycling process than petroleum inks.
BENEFITS: Printing with soy ink is considered more beneficial for the environment because the ink is low in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC's) safe, sustainable, made from a renewable resource and is more easily stripped from paper during the de-inking and recycling process than petroleum inks.
SUSTAINABLE FOREST INITIATIVE
SFI certified products are produced from SFI program certified paper produced at mills which utilize fiber certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® program. Fiber coming from this program is certified based on a comprehensive system of principles, objectives, and performance measures developed by professional foresters, conservationists and scientists that combines the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the long-term protection of wildlife, plants, soil and water quality. Under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program, participating companies plant or grow more trees than are harvested each year. Over one million acres are reforested each year under the SFI program.
BENEFITS: SFI program certified envelopes and products are considered more beneficial for the environment because they are made from sustainable fibers from managed forests which are SFI certified. Simply stated, sustainable forestry is working with nature to ensure the future of the nation's forests for generations to come.
*Qwestcom is not yet fully certified in all of these areas.