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Washington State University Earns FSC Certification

Washington State University’s printing facility has been awarded chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council

April 2008
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Washington State University Earns FSC Certification

After many months of effort, Washington State University’s printing facility has been awarded chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Called University Publishing, it is one of the first in-plants to receive FSC certification.

Steve Rigby, director of printing, says WSU’s strong commitment to the environment and sustainability inspired the in-plant to begin the certification process. With its certification in hand, the in-plant can now include the FSC logo on its printed products, further spreading the message about WSU’s commitment to the environment and to well managed forests.

“We’re the biggest user of paper products on campus,” he explains. “So we feel it is important to strengthen our commitment to sustainable practices by seeking this certification.”

Among the changes the operation had to make was storing its FSC-certified paper separately from other paper. Rigby says the in-plant’s Hagen OA shop management system proved a big help in the certification process, since paper can be marked as FSC-certified when the order is placed, and that tag follows the job all the way through to delivery and billing.

To receive its certification, the in-plant had to detail, in a lengthy report, its purchasing, production and finished product handling practices, as well as its record-keeping methods, training initiatives and more. An auditor visited and assessed the in-plant’s efforts.

The FSC is a nonprofit organization that encourages responsible management of the world’s forests and the products derived from those forests. The chain-of-custody certification provides assurance to consumers that the products they buy originated in forests that meet the FSC’s principles and criteria.

Receiving this certification is one of several best practices University Publishing follows to ensure that WSU’s printed pieces are produced in a responsible way. Other green practices include using soy-based inks, recycled papers and solvents that are better for the environment. The in-plant also has a robust waste management program.

Rigby will lead a session on FSC certification and the process of going green at the IPMA 2008 conference, taking place June 4-7 in Tunica, Miss.
 

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