Print Green: a Glossary of Green Acronyms & Terminology

Good for the environment. Good for business. The printing industry has a renewed commitment to environmental sustainability, due in part to an undeserved assumption among many that printing and paper are destructive to the environment. Paper is a renewable resource, and the printing industry works diligently with conservationists, forest management and environmentalists to ensure healthy working forests. To be sure you are supporting that effort – and to show your customers and others your commitment – read up on these common acronyms and the green terminology used when discussing green print and environmental matters:

Acronyms and Terms used in Green Printing

FSCThe Forest Stewardship Council, an international non-profit organization that sets standards and provides certification, trademark and accreditation for companies working with responsible forestry around the world.

SFIThe Sustainable Forestry Initiative, non-profit organizaton that promotes sustainable forest management across North America and certifies fiber sourcing requirements to promote responsible forest management.

PEFCProgramme for the Endoresemnt of Forest Certification, promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification.

COC – Chain of custody. This is the path paper travels, beginning in the forest and continuing through harvest, transport, manufacture, printing and finally purchase.

PCF & TCF – Processed Chlorine Free and Totally Chlorine Free. Refers to paper produced without the use of chlorine or chlorine compounds. PCF paper contains recyclable content, while TCF is 100% virgin paper.

ECF – Elemental Chlorine Free. Refers to paper that does not use elemental chlorine to bleach wood pulp white in the manufacturing process. It uses chlorine dioxide instead.

Enhanced ECF – Enchanced Elemental Chlorine Free, uses hydrogen peroxide or ozone, rather than chlorine or chlorine dioxide, to bleach wood pulp white.

Green-e – the nations’s leading certification program for renewable energy. Green-e is a consumer protection program, selling renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market, and certifying products produced with these green standards.

Rainforest Alliance Certification – comprehensive program to promote and guarantee sound environmental improvements in agriculture and forestry. The Rainforest Alliance certifies goods and services that protect the environment, wildlife, workers and local communities.

Post-consumer waste – paper that has already been used by consumers once and is recovered for recycling.

Pre-consumer waste – paper that has been produced but never been used by the consumer.

recycled fiber – Fiber that has been recycled and reprocessed into a new product. It includes both post- and pre-consumer waste.

endangered forest – any rare, threatened or biologically significant forest area that cannot be logged or harvested without risking irreparable destruction.

virgin wood – wood that has been harvested from the forest, whether sawn or whole, before it has been processed further into paper or other products.

Remember, paper is renewable, sustainable and biodegradable. Responsible use of paper is green. Next time you get an email with that little disclaimer about saving paper, if you really need a printed copy, go ahead. Print that email out if you need to – guilt-free.

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