Paper Company Earns Chain-of-Custody Certification

Paper Company Earns Chain-of-Custody Certification

Kentucky-based Ris Paper Company has received Forest Stewardship Council chain-of-custody certification for paper products made in 17 of its 26 locations in the U.S. The certification is part Rainforest Alliance’s SmartWood program.

Ris Paper’s network of distribution centers will now be able to provide certified paper products to the end-user market, as well as commercial and in-plant printers nationwide. The chain-of-custody certification will cover Ris Paper’s 17 locations, including Johnston Paper in Cincinnati, Ohio, and facilities in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Southwest.

“Ris Paper Company is excited to have the opportunity to market and distribute Forest Stewardship Council certified printing paper products. As the first paper merchant in the U.S. to receive chain-of-custody certification, we look forward to bringing these unique products to our customers," said Jim Lenhoff, vice president and general manager of Johnston Paper.

Ris Paper was established as an office products company in 1915, and officially became Ris Paper in 1938. In July 2000, Ris Paper was purchased by Domtar to join their Paper Merchants Group, which is made up of three companies in Canada, and Ris in the United States. The Canadian operations achieved their own group chain-of-custody certification earlier this year.

The papers are supplied certified papers by Domtar’s pulp and paper mills, which currently manufacture and distribute several lines of certified papers including Plainfield Opaque, Plainfield Multi-Purpose, and Cornwall Cover. In order to produce these papers, Domtar’s mills have secured fiber from certified forests that meet FSC principles and criteria that ensure the forest is being managed responsibly. This fiber content is specified on each package or roll of paper. The wood that supplies Domtar’s pulp and paper mills comes from their FSC-certified forests in Ontario, Canada, and New York State, in the U.S.

Like recycled fiber content, FSC-certified fiber is of increasing interest to paper buyers, users, and consumers. “The FSC label on paper is something that the American consumer is beginning to look for,” said FSC-U.S. President Roger Dower. “Now, FSC-certified large paper companies in North America including Domtar are poised to make inroads into the important environmentally-preferable paper market.”

The SmartWood assessment entailed on-site evaluations for a sampling of Ris facilities, one of which was chosen at random, in order to assess conformity within the company systems, and SmartWood conducts annual audits to confirm compliance.

FSC Group chain-of-custody certification was developed as an equitable means for smaller enterprises and multi-site businesses wishing to achieve FSC chain-of-custody certification. Certification is facilitated for companies such as Ris that have multi-site operations in which fundamentally the same functions, methods or procedures are carried out at each site. There is no limit to the total number of members within a group under this type of certification, and the members all operate under the management of a group manager. The group manager is responsible for ensuring that all members of the group comply with the standards and guidelines of their certification.

SmartWood is a forestry program of the Rainforest Alliance, an international conservation organization that works to protect endangered ecosystems and the people and wildlife that live in them by transforming land use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior. Established in 1989, SmartWood pioneered forestry certification and is accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council.