Sustainability champions celebrate

Eco-Friendly Card Company marks 22 years of FSC Chain Of Custody status

 

One of the first greeting card publishers to recognise the importance of sustainability, The Eco-Friendly Card Company has just renewed its FSC Chain Of Custody – for the 22nd year running!

The Devon-based company run by founders Sue and Scott Morrish was the first direct-to-retail publisher to become FSC-certified back in 2006, as part of its on-going mission to reduce its environmental footprint.

Initially most products were FSC-certified MIX – paper made from responsibly-managed forests – but, now, all its stock-line greeting cards are printed on FSC recycled board, and the publisher has once again offset all carbon-emissions associated with paper used in its products through the World Land Trust.

Above: Sue Morrish with the Eco-Friendly Card Company’s latest FSC certificate and (right) with one of their earliest ones
Above: Sue Morrish with the Eco-Friendly Card Company’s latest FSC certificate and (right) with one of their earliest ones

Director Sue said: “An FSC audit is a good opportunity to see how much paper we’ve purchased in the year which means we can ensure that our offset with the World Land Trust is accurate.

“This year, in addition to offsetting paper used for products, we’ve also offset all the paper used in our brochures and marketing materials as well as other paper products that fall outside the scope of FSC, for example, recycled greyboard.”

Having always had a passion for the environment, The Eco-Friendly Card Company switched to using 100% recycled envelopes back in the mid-90s under its original name of Glebe Cottage.

Above: Sue and Scott Morrish with their 2010 BCE award and Scott at work taking images for their award-winning photographic ranges
Above: Sue and Scott Morrish with their 2010 BCE award and Scott at work taking images for their award-winning photographic ranges

Sue said: “The logic was simple, why cut down trees to make envelopes that will only make one journey before they are ripped open, screwed up and thrown away?”

And the company has come a long way since then, including changing its name to go loud and proud with its eco-credentials.

As the first publisher to switch to compostable packaging back in 2006, two years later it became the UK’s first CarbonNeutral greeting card company and won gold for environmental best practice in printing and publishing at the Green Apple Awards, then scooping top prize in the product category at the BCE Environmental Leadership Awards in 2010.

All The Eco-Friendly Card Company designs have a recycled content that’s specified on the back with most made from 100% recycled post-consumer waste and some from 50% recycled post-industrial coffee cup waste. To make sure everything is itself easily recyclable, no foil, flitter, glitter or plastic-based laminates are use on stock products.

Above: Sue with son Benjamin showing off their corn starch bags
Above: Sue with son Benjamin showing off their corn starch bags

Since 2010 all its card brochures have been printed without the use of any industrial alcohol, which is a solvent used by printers and the industry’s main source of hazardous VOC emissions, and only vegetable-based inks are used for cards on litho-print runs while the occasional digital printing to reduce waste for short runs is done on an Indigo press powered by green energy – which is how the company’s offices are also powered.

And to reduce the environmental cost of manufacturing, all products are made in the UK.

Sue added: “We’re not experts on green issues and we know we’re not perfect but we are very positive about the future because we believe consumers can change the way businesses think about the environment.

“In essence, everyone can help to make the world a little bit greener, even if it’s just one card at a time!”

As the only certification scheme endorsed by WWF, Friends Of The Earth, and Greenpeace, the FSC Chain Of Custody means responsible forest management ensures the harvest of timber products maintains the forest’s biodiversity, productivity, and ecological processes.

The World Land Trust is a global conservation charity that protects the world’s most biologically-significant and threatened habitats with patrons including Sir David Attenborough and TV wildlife expert and conservationist Chris Packham.

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