immago Hong Kong achieves FSC Chain of Custody Certification
immago has long been invested in a path towards sustainability and eco-friendly product offerings. Many of our clients have experienced these offerings over the years along with our commitment to this increasingly critical topic.
Part of our sustainability commitment involves alignment to internationally recognised standards and programmes that encourage sustainability paths.
Whilst it is challenging to align with every eco-friendly/sustainable programme available (there is simply so many), we aim to investigate the viability of aligning ourselves with programmes that will maximise benefits to our clients in the form of the story they are presenting to their own clients.
One recurring request to immago has centred on being able to supply FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper and board products – generally in the form of hangtags and paper/ board-based packaging.
As a result, we are pleased to announce that the Hong Kong branch of immago has recently been certified compliant under the FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) programme.
Achieving this certification, we believe, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to best-practice contributions to the world’s sustainability drive, whilst continuing our path to build a broad suite of eco-friendly apparel based trim and packaging offerings.
Who is the (FSC), and what do they do?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, half of the world’s forests have been altered, degraded, destroyed, or converted into other land uses. Many of the remaining forests today, suffer from illegal exploitation and otherwise poor management. The Forest Stewardship Council was established as a response to these concerns over global deforestation.
As the original pioneers of forest certification, FSC was established in 1993, giving the world today close to 30-years’ experience with developing sustainable forest management programmes. This expertise is used to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests, in an environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.
From logs to timber, wooden furniture to wood pulp, paper to cardboard boxes and packaging, it is becoming more important to know exactly where everyday wood-based materials have come from. FSC’s CoC certification allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to determine the origins of the wood used during production processes.
But you may wonder how certified participants are monitored in the FSC environment?
Auditing and certifications are managed by accredited organisations such as Bureau Veritas or SGS who indirectly assure all participants in the supply chain, that the wood-based products being purchased, have come from a forest that has been evaluated and certified as being managed according to the correct social, economic, and environmental standards.
FSC has an extensive core membership base that includes international NGOs such as the World Wide Fund for nature, Oxfam, the Forestry Science & Research Institute of Brazil, along with certification organisations such as SGS, Bureau Veritas and KPMG. Large multinational corporations such as IKEA also are active participants at higher membership levels.
Most participant companies in FSC programmes though are involved at a certification level for the production or sourcing of wood-based products. This is where immago fits in.
FSC also works in liaison with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It contributes to ISO committees on sustainable criteria for bioenergy, environmental auditing, and environmental labelling.
Some facts to contemplate. Under its global banner, FSC comprises:
- 238,132,191 Certified Forest hectares
- 51,123 Chain of Custody certificates
- 1,819 Forest Management Chain of Custody certificates
- 1,414 Promotional Licence holders
- 1,165 International members in 89 Countries
- 29 years of existence
- 30 Forest Management Certificate Holders with verified ecosystem services in 12 Countries
Chain of Custody Certification
In simple terms, the FSC Chain of Custody (CoC) system provides a transparent means of tracking FSC certified materials through the supply chain, from the forest to the end-user.
Apart from this practical benefit, CoC certification is a globally recognised programme that companies can be involved with to show their commitment to the environment and of course responsible forest management.
Only companies that have achieved FSC chain of custody certification are permitted to use the organisation’s trademarks and labels to promote their products. Subsequently, whenever you see the FSC markings or labels on your products or packaging, this provides a solid, verifiable link between responsible production and responsible, more socially and environmentally focussed, buying decisions.
Anybody wanting to make FSC sales claims or market FSC certified product, no matter if it is a plank of timber, a ream of copier paper or product packaging, must comply with FSC’s international standards for a chain of custody traceability. It is a tracking system that allows manufacturers and traders to demonstrate that timber comes from a forest that is responsibly managed in accordance with FSC’s principles and criteria.
Even though FSC chain of custody certification is a voluntary process, certification involves extensive and regular compliance auditing by authorised 3rd party inspection bodies. This auditing is heavily weighted towards ensuring that not only products are as marketed but also to ensure robust controls are in place to verify that FSC-certified material has come from eligible sources. It also ensures strong measures are established to prevent certified and recycled material from mixing with material from ineligible and unacceptable sources, as it makes its way along the supply chain from the forest to the market.
A core immago goal, is to take responsibility as a global provider of apparel trims and retail packaging, for minimising the environmental impact of the products we develop in conjunction with our customers. This extends to our long-established drive to continuously innovate product, material offerings and processes, designed to come together and play a positive role in the world’s sustainability path.
What does this mean for you?
By working with immago to provide you wood & paper-based products whose origins are from sustainable, well-managed and recycled sources, you are contributing to the FSC vision of protecting the world’s forests whilst achieving other benefits such as:
- Limiting forest clearcutting
- Protecting forest wildlife and habitats
- Protecting water quality
- Safeguarding the rights of local or Indigenous people
If you are wanting FSC certified products such as board-based swing tags, retail packaging or paper-based garment bags, you can now be sure our commitment to offering you fully compliant products is that much more secure.
Our team around the world specialise in innovative ways of presenting your products and contributing to your own sustainability story, without compromising protection, presentation, or the customer experience.
We would be happy to guide you through your FSC journey. Anything wood or paper-based can generally be assessed for inclusion within FSC parameters. We are here to help you with the formation and development of your apparel trim and retail packaging requirements,
Contact us today to see how we can assist you to showcase your environmental credentials by using FSC certified papers & boards.