Two groups that promote sustainable working are calling on printers and other supply chain firms to hone procurement choices to protect woodlands and the locals who depend on them.
The World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) last week published a new Sustainable Procurement Guide for Wood and Paper-based Products.
The guide, first launched in 2008, was recently updated and identifies 10 key aspects, including legal, environmental and social issues, that underpin sustainable sourcing.
The guide aims to give procurement staff a better understanding of how to put in place policies for paper, packaging and solid-wood products.
“For a company sourcing wood-based products, knowing their supply chains increases transparency and reduces risks,” said WBCSD forest solutions group manager Uta Maria Jungermann.
Jungermann, based in Geneva, suggested sourcing from responsibly-managed forests, such as those with PEFC accreditation.
“PEFC’s sustainable forest management standard, demonstrates an organisation’s support for well-managed forests and helps grow markets for certified forest products.”
She said: “The new version was prompted by the growing movement from big brand-owning companies towards deforestation-free products and we wanted to help supply chains address this.
“There is more emphasis from the corporate world on supply-chain transparency and sustainable sourcing. Printers along with other companies need to be aware of this growing trend.”
The WBCSD is a chief executive-led group of companies that tries to galvanise the global business community to create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment.
World Resources Institute is a global research organisation involving 50 countries, which aims to sustain the world’s natural resources.
On sourcing and legality aspects, its report suggests companies focus on the accuracy of product information and whether or not supplies have been legally produced.
On the environment it suggests users check forests are sustainably managed, that appropriate environmental controls have been applied and that fresh and recycled fibre has been used properly.
On social aspects, companies should check suppliers have addressed the needs of local communities and indigenous peoples, it recommends.
PEFC works with the packaging sector to promote sourcing materials from PEFC-certified sources. According to PEFC, 54% of consumers trust environmental labels that are displayed on packaging.