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Green sheets

Mar 1, 2008 12:00 AM

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There's good news on the forestry front: The most recent U.S. Forest Service data confirms that the country's forestland is about as abundant today as it was 100 years ago. The new data reinforces findings in “The State of America's Forests,” a 2007 report by the Society of American Foresters that reinforces the importance of continuing sustainable certified forest practices to ensure forestland remains abundant for generations to come. The report was produced with support from the Abundant Forests Alliance (AFA) (, a trade group representing the wood and paper products industry. AFA's mission is to educate the public about commitment to sustainable forestry and its positive effect on our forests and the renewable resources they produce.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) ( reports a 750 percent increase in locations — including commercial printing companies — that have achieved SFI chain-of-custody certification. SFI-certified companies have put tracking systems in place to identify the amount of certified, uncertified and recycled content in the forest products they buy, use or sell. The program is one of the largest in the world, with a standard based on principles and measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk and forests of exceptional conservation value.

“We started 2007 with 21 certificates at 48 locations and ended with 102 SFI chain-of-custody certifications at 408 certified locations,” says SFI Inc. president and CEO Kathy Abusow. “This represents a 386 percent increase in certificates and a 750 percent increase in certified locations — and it appears the momentum will continue in 2008.”

At Graph Expo 08, AMERICAN PRINTER will be presenting the “Environmental Excellence Awards” to commercial printers who are leading the industry in environmentally conscious manufacturing. We'll publish a special section honoring the award winners in our October 2008 issue.

The range and quality of papers containing recycled fibers has grown in leaps and bounds as paper mills, printers and their customers have taken on sustainable forestry initiatives. The following is an update on the paper vendors' environmental activities, as well as a selection of the latest ecofriendly papers for commercial printing.

Denise Kapel is managing editor of AMERICAN PRINTER. Contact her at