Rhapsody in Green
Cincinnati-based Prograde—a provider of print management, integrated marketing, fulfillment and e-commerce solutions—was recently awarded the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) chain-of-custody (COC) certification by Scientific Certification Systems, Emeryville, Calif. The certification is valid through Dec. 2012, and is the first of Prograde’s several planned initiatives to support sustainability and green printing efforts in the marketplace.
“We are relatively early on in the process,” said Dave Carlin, vice president and chief sales officer. “We started looking into FSC certification in October and made the decision to go ahead with the process in late November. It wasn’t a case of a large client telling us we needed to do it,” he continued. “We saw the market moving in this direction and knew clients would eventually request it, so we decided to be proactive. We saw an opportunity to do our share for the environment, [as well as] support our customers’ efforts, and weave this into our sales process for business development.”
In choosing a certification firm, Carlin explained Scientific Certification Systems was already working with another company Prograde respected. Prior to the physical site audit, the agency outlined measures necessary to be awarded certification, such as implementing procedures for keeping FSC-certified stock separate and ensuring documentation pertaining to FSC orders—including product labeling, packing slips and invoices—is specifically managed to confirm COC from start to finish.
“It wasn’t hard to implement the various requirements. Our warehousing system was pretty much ready to go. The challenge for us was making sure our computer system was set up to support the effort,” said Carlin. “For instance, FSC-certified products are billed differently, so product codes and data related to the items must be handled in a particular way. You don’t want to ... get FSC certified and feel good about it, and suddenly find yourself doing all sorts of manual offline transactions. You have to be able to keep track of the activity.”