Sustainability Glossary of Terms

We offer a variety of eco-friendly paper options, including recycled papers with 10-100% post-consumer recycled content. This logo can be used on any paper that contains post-consumer recycled content. Paper is a renewable product that is biodegradable (without lamination).

This logo can be used on any paper with 100% post consumer recycled content. It is the standard recycled logo we use with our Eco-Brown Kraft stock.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC ) certification labels provide on-product proof of the integrity of the supply chain from forest to consumer. Their goal is to ensure forests are managed in a responsible manner.  Can only be added by an FSC certified printer on FSC certified stock. We will choose the appropriate on-product label (FSC 100%, FSC Mix, FSC  Recycled) depending on the FSC  certified paper you have chosen.

A Green SealTM Certification mark on a product means that it has been put through stringent evaluations to ensure its reduced impact on the environment and on human health.  Can only be used on Green SealTM certified papers.

Our 4CP and PMS inks (excludes metallics & fluorescents) are certified low VOC and contain 45% vegetable content. Remember that heavy ink coverage is hard to de-ink and not suitable for future recycling.

Our inks contain 13-18% soy.



Many of our products are Union Made in the USA.



We use safe water based aqueous coatings which are recyclable.


BioPlus gloss UV coating is 50% renewable with 30% soy content. It is suitable for recycling with other mixed waste.


Paperless .pdf proofing is the preferred eco-friendly option.



We conserve resources with energy efficient lighting.



Remember to recycle!


ACID FREE:  Paper made with a neutral PH. This increases the longevity of the paper.

CARBON NEUTRAL:  When an individual or organization offsets its net carbon emissions by investing in resources that absorb greenhouse gases. For example, a company may pay to have trees planted to offset carbon dioxide emitted during its production processes.

CHAIN OF CUSTODY:  A process by which forest products are tracked from the forest all the way to the end consumer. Process is independently audited.

CHLORINE:  The traditional way used to bleach and brighten wood fibers.  This process has come under scrutiny over the last decade as research has linked it to dioxins harmful to the environment.

DE INKING:  The process by which ink is lifted off used paper, which is then broken back down into fibers to be recycled into new paper.

ELEMENTAL CHLORINE FREE (ECF):  Process which replaces chlorine with chlorine dioxide in the first stage of the chemical bleaching when recycling paper. This is consider an acceptable  environmentally substitute to chlorine bleaching because it uses less water in the process and reduces the amount of harmful dioxins to non-detectable amounts.  (See Process Chlorine Free).

ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT:  A common measurement term to refer to the resources used by each person or organization based on the land required to feed, clothe and sustain it.

FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL (FSC):  A non-profit, international organization devoted to responsible use of the world’s forests. Has established standards and accredits independent organizations to certify that these standards are met. Companies need to be recertified on an annual basis. Only printers who have Chain of Custody certification (COC) can print or place the FSC logo. Chain of Custody is a process by which forest products are tracked from the forest all the way to the end consumer.
FSC labels:
FSC 100% – Contains 100% virgin fiber from FSC -certified forests. No recycled content. No “controlled wood”.
FSC MIX – Combination of FSC -certified virgin fiber, controlled wood and/or recycled fiber. In addition, the recycled symbol with the % of post- and pre-consumer recycled material incorporated into the product can be included if the product contains recycled fiber.
FSC RECYCLED – Contains 100% recycled fiber. The product must contain at least 85% post-consumer recycled material and may contain up to 15% pre-consumer recycled material.

GREEN POWER:  Electricity produced by renewable resources (wind, solar) that are less harmful to the environment than fossil fuels (coal, gas, etc.)

GREEN E:  The nation’s leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions.

MOBIUS LOOP:  The official name of the recycling logo. The three chasing arrows stand for “reduce, reuse & recycle”.

POST CONSUMER WASTE:  Paper that contains fibers from paper that has been reclaimed from the waste stream (recycled).

PRE_CONSUMER RECYCLED CONTENT:  Refers to materials or by-products generated during manufacturing but before it reaches the end-consumer (mill ends, magazines that aren’t sold, etc.).

PROCESS CHLORINE FREE (PCF):  A recycling, decolorizing and bleaching process done to paper without the use of chlorine or chlorine compounds. Most eco-friendly & preferred process.

RECYCLABLE:  A product that can be reused. (Open arrow recycled logo is usually used.)

RECYCLED:  Paper or a product made at least in part from recycled materials. (Solid arrow recycled logo is usually used and % of recycled content is put in center of logo.)

RENEWABLE ENERGY CREDITS (REC):  Every time a kilowatt-hour of electricity is generated by a wind farm, a renewable energy credit is produced. Consumers can buy these credits to “off-set” the environmental impact they generate from using fossil fuels.

SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY INITIATIVE (SFI):  An independent, non-profit organization responsible for maintaining, overseeing, and improving a sustainable forestry certification program that is internationally recognized.

TOTALLY CHLORINE FREE (TCF):  Includes both virgin and post-consumer fibers that are bleached without chlorine or chlorine compounds.

TREE FREE:  Paper products that are not made from wood pulp. Alternative fibers such as agriculture residues (sugar cane husks, etc.), hemp, cotton or bamboo are used.

VIRGIN FIBERS:  Paper made from the fibers in their first use, usually from wood pulp. New trees were harvested. No recycled fiber.

VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOC):  Carbon containing compounds that contributes to air & water pollution when they escape into the air by evaporation. These are mostly derived from petroleum products that are used as solvents.