FSC Logo Usage
This question was answered by Concord Litho’s “Green Team” at www.concordlitho.com.

If I use FSC paper can I use their logo? I was told we would have to pay for the use of it. My question is -- if the paper that I buy is FSC certified, why can't I use their logo?



For a printed piece to display a Forest Stewardship Council trademark (the logo, the initials FSC or the phrase 'Forest Stewardship Council'), the printing company that produces it must hold a valid FSC chain-of-custody certificate. That means that if you as a printer want to use the FSC logo(s) on certified paper, you must first go through the rigorous process of becoming a FSC chain of custody certified printing supplier by a third-party auditor. There are fees associated with the auditing process and certification. Upon successful certification, the printing company then receives a CD of logos and is responsible for applying the correct logos for its customers projects (and securing logo approval for each project from its auditor), among other things.

Forest Stewardship Council certified papers come from well-managed forests and controlled sources, and the FSC chain of custody system ensures that this paper can be traced from the originating forest, to the loggers, to the paper mills, to the printing facility where it is used for your project. This tracking is done through the exchange of unique certification codes and paperwork; everyone who touches the paper along the way must hold a valid chain of custody FSC certificate, otherwise the chain of custody is broken and the project (and paper) is no longer certified (and can no longer carry the FSC logo or claim). The FSC closely monitors the use of the FSC logo and trademark. Your FSC chain of custody certified printing supplier will apply your selected FSC logo to your files and submit it for approval from their certifying body prior to printing your project. (Each and every FSC certified project that displays a logo or FSC trademark must get approved by the printing company’s certifying body.) Printing facilities are also subject to annual audits to ensure they comply with the rules and regulations governing chain of custody.

In summary, printing an eco-friendly FSC project is easy for a print buyer – he or she simply needs to use an FSC chain-of-custody certified printing company and specify FSC certified paper. The FSC chain of custody certified printing company does all the heavy lifting on behalf of its customers – making sure the chain of custody is not broken, verifying paperwork, applying for logo approval from its auditor for each project, maintaining a segregated inventory, and keeping impeccable records for its annual audit.

More information about becoming an FSC chain of custody certified printing facility is available on FSC’s US website at www.fscus.org. And for print buyers who are interested in greening up their projects, from FSC certified papers to other eco-friendly production choices like vegetable-based inks, check out Concord Litho’s “Going Green” Idea Kit.

This question was answered by Concord Litho’s “Green Team.” Concord Litho is a Forest Stewardship Council chain of custody certified printing supplier (#SCS-COC-001191). Concord Litho is one of the largest independently-owned printing companies in the country. To learn more about innovative formats and fun engagement devices that can boost the ROI of your next product launch, please visit them at www.concordlitho.com.
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