Paper Insights

Your Guide to the New FSC Labels – Part 1

We had another great turnout for our latest webinar on the new FSC labeling standard.

webinar_QandAAnd yes, you had oodles of questions for our guest speaker FSC Canada Program Officer Monika Patel. Part 1 of those queries and her answers (Thank you Monika!) are presented below. You can read Part 2 by clicking here.

If you missed this webinar or would like to listen again, please go to PaperSpecs Webinars. Special thanks to Kallima Paper for sponsoring the event!

What percentage of the world’s printers are FSC certified?
Currently, there are over 500 FSC-certified printing companies in Canada and 2,300 FSC-certified printers in the United States. Note that there are many multi-site certificates and group certificates that contain more than one print facility, so the amount of “locations” or “facilities” is higher.

My understanding is that clients can no longer write a statement such as “This was printed on FSC-certified stock.” as a way around having the job printed without the COC and on-product logo. This would be because the three letters FSC are a registered logo and as such the job then becomes a COC job and the full on-product logo would then have to be affixed.
Correct. An additional statement can be used along with the full label. The FSC trademarks are “FSC,” “Forest Stewardship Council” and the checkmark tree trademark.

For the RECYCLED label, is there a minimum postconsumer content? Or could the product be 100 percent post-industrial recycled fiber?
Great question. The answer to your second question is no, there needs to be postconsumer reclaimed content as well. There are three ways to have a FSC-Recycled product:
1 – 100 percent postconsumer reclaimed.
2 – at least 85 percent postconsumer reclaimed with the remainder being pre-consumer reclaimed.
3 – a credit account that blends postconsumer and pre-consumer. The amount of postconsumer added to the product will be the amount of FSC-certified labeled paper sold. For example, 60 percent pre-consumer + 40 percent postconsumer = 100 units. Forty of those units can be sold and labeled with a FSC Recycled claim.  The rest can be sold with no FSC claim.

Will the item claims change on the paperwork or will it continue to follow the standard? FSC Mixed Credit, FSC PURE, FSC Mixed XX%, FSC Recycled Credit?
The FSC Chain-of-Custody (CoC) standard has not changed, and so FSC invoice claims remain the same.

Regarding FSC Mix, is there a criteria that has to be met for the percentage of Pure and percentage of Controlled Fiber permitted?
There are two options. One is the “percentage” system where 50 percent (will be 70 percent soon) of the fiber needs to be FSC-certified virgin material plus postconsumer reclaimed material. The balance can be Controlled Wood or reclaimed. The second is what is used most often – the “credit system.” The credit system is where you blend FSC virgin material, CW virgin material, postconsumer and pre-consumer. The amount of FSC certified plus postconsumer can then be sold out as FSC Mixed. So, if you have 10 percent FSC, 10 percent CW, 60 percent Postconsumer and 20 percent Pre-consumer, then 70 percent of the products could be labeled and sold as FSC. Thirty percent can be sold with no FSC labels or claims.

Mini label question: standards state “10.16 The border shall be defined for mini labels as for standard labels. For stencils, heat brands and very small items, the mini label may be reproduced without the border.” Question is what is considered a small item?
Standard 3.3.1 clarifies that small items are paper size, that is A5 or smaller or packaging that is 500 ml volume or less. Other potential “small items” can be brought up to the printer’s certification body for approval.

Is there still an option for using a smaller than minimum label?
The mini label is the smallest label possible, and the mini label can only be placed on small items (not any FSC-certified printed piece like the past standard allowed). Standard 3.3.1 clarifies that small items are paper size that is A5 or smaller or packaging that is 500 ml volume or less. Other potential “small items” can be brought up to the printer’s certification body for approval.

The mini is still too large for business cards.
When a business card is printed on FSC paper, the mini label with product type shall be used at minimum size. If none of the label options given can be used, for reasons of space or product type, an individual solution should be proposed to the certification body.

Will we be able to get labels from your website’s label generator?
Use the online “Label Generator” at www.info.fsc.org to download high-resolution graphics of the FSC Label in white, black or “FSC Green.” Access codes and passwords are available from your certifier.

When we provide a client with an invoice for a COC job, our invoice has our FSC promotional logo on it. The new logo now has a license number as opposed to the certificate number on it. Do we have to include our certificate number somewhere on the invoice as well as the license number?
Great question. All promotional claims will have your license number. All invoice claims will have your COC number. So, if you have a promotional claim on an invoice for FSC-certified products, then you’ll have both your license number and CoC code.

Certificate Codes should continue to be used on invoices and sales documents to indicate the FSC certified status of products.

Case License code Cert number
On-product label X
Promotional panel X
Other promotional use of the logo X
Text reference to certification X
Invoice: promotional logo for template X
Invoice: identifying the FSC certified products X
Other sales and shipping documents X

For invoices and other shipping documents, will the new FSC label generator create a label with this code?
The label generator will have your license code in it. Your FSC CoC code should still be applied to your invoices and shipping documents.  See above chart for clarification.

Many of the printed publications that we produce are also saved as a PDF for our clients to post either on their website or to send via e-mail to their customers. What are the guidelines in regards to having the FSC label included as part of the PDF that represents the FSC approved printed publication? Does the FSC label need to be removed from the PDF, or does having the approved FSC Label in the PDF show that the printed version of the publication met FSC Standards?

Great question. We just received guidance from FSC International on this. The FSC label should be removed from the PDF. However, if this is not possible, the label can remain on the PDF document with a clarification statement that indicates the original document was printed on FSC-certified paper. The removal of the FSC label or additional clarification is needed because anyone can download and print the document on non-certified paper.

When can a transparent background block be used on a logo?
A transparent background is acceptable when the background is not patterned. This is much more strict than the previous TMK standard.

Is there a specific CMYK mix we should be aware of for the FSC green?
The numbers reported during the webinar are: 100C, 60M, 100Y, and 20K or 50R, 80G, and 60B.

Are there any restrictions to the optional border around the FSC label?
The border can either be used as is (with rounded corners) or not at all. That is up to the printer/graphic designer.

Does the FSC “Recycled” label distinguish between pre- and postconsumer waste? Why or why not?
The FSC Recycled label no longer distinguishes between postconsumer and pre-consumer content. The CoC standard has not changed so only postconsumer gets counted towards being FSC certified, but pre-consumer can be blended in an FSC-Recycled product.

There are three ways to have an FSC-recycled product:
1 – 100 percent postconsumer reclaimed.
2 – at least 85 percent postconsumer reclaimed with the remainder being pre-consumer reclaimed.
3 – a credit account that blends postconsumer and pre consumer. The amount of postconsumer added to the product will be the amount of FSC-certified labeled paper sold. For example, 60 percent pre-consumer + 40 percent postconsumer = 100 units. Forty of those units can be sold and labeled with an FSC Recycled claim.  The rest can be sold with no FSC claim. The move to recognize both postconsumer and pre-consumer in the mobius loop is a requirement of ISO labels. A separate statement near the FSC label can still be used to state “xyz% postconsumer.”

Is there a specific FSC label for paper used in packaging?
There are only three labels for all types of products (plus the mini labels).  Printing, packaging, furniture, and lumber, etc. all use the same labels.

Is the Exclusion Zone the same regardless of language?
Yes.

Is there a Logo Standards Guide available at FSC logo usage?
Yes, the label generator has all of the guides and standards. The FSC-US and FSC-Canada websites have these documents as well.


digital

To listen …

If you missed “Your Guide to the New FSC Labels,” it’s not too late! Just click here to listen to the full webinar.The remainder of your questions is presented in Part Two of this article.

 


Print Friendly

DIGGIN’ THIS CONTENT?

Get your weekly treat of tips and insights. It's FREE.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *