Awareness of the importance of using paper made from environmentally friendly fibre is growing hugely, according to the paper merchants, BJ Ball Group.
Lisa Hegh, environmental manager at BJ Ball points to the massive growth in demand for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified papers the company is experiencing.
According to Hegh, the group (comprising BJ Ball Papers and recently acquired CPI Papers) now offers 1144 FSC certified product SKUs, an increase of 583% over the 196 FSC product SKUs it carried only twelve months ago. She says, "Demand is growing continuously. As people learn more about the issues, they increasingly insist on sustainable product, independently certified and regularly audited to ensure it is what it claims to be."
Hegh sees a challenge for the industry in New Zealand in that the demand is equally high globally and supplies of FSC certified product are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain in the volumes customers desire. She says, "We have had to press our case very strongly with key mills to secure FSC supplies for our New Zealand and Australian customers.
"In two instances we have succeeded in obtaining FSC products that no one in the world outside Australasia has access to. In the case of the Novatech range of premium double-coated art paper, we managed to secure - for Australasia only - product made from FSC certified mixed source pulp. And we persuaded Sappi Fine Paper to send us Harvest Recycled product made with 40 per cent FSC certified fibre. The remaining 60 per cent is of course made from recycled sugar cane fibre, making this a particularly strong environmental offering."
Hegh also says that the desire for FSC Certification is spreading throughout the industry. She says, "It's to ensure the integrity of the "chain of custody" from forest to customer. Just as BJ Ball gained FSC 'chain of custody" certification two years ago, so the first printers began to achieve similar credentials last year."