The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Alumni magazine printed with FSC approved paper

The past issue of the Guilford alumni magazine has been printed with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-approved paper.

The magazine is published twice a year, usually around Thanksgiving and after graduation in May.

According to, the FSC is “an international not-for-profit membership-based organization that brings people together to find solutions to the problems created by bad forestry practices and to reward good forest management.”

“Any time you have a certification process with accountability and transparency you can have more environmentally sound methods and a more environmentally sustainable product at the end,” said Kim Yarbray, environmental sustainability coordinator.

Suppliers like the local Mac Papers provide FSC-approved products.

“The paper industry is the largest consumer of water, the largest consumer of trees, and one of the largest consumers of energy,” said Gene Ledbetter, a Mac Papers sales representative. “So when you consume all three of those, people take a notice in what you do, which is why the paper mills are taking very serious actions to respond to environmental concerns.”

Sophomore Emma Deutsch lives in The Pines, the environmental and sustainability house. Pines residents are committed to living in ways that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

“Using paper with recycled content is important because by doing that companies will be cutting down less trees so there won’t be as much deforestation, which requires more energy,” Deutsch said. “Using environmentally sustainable products usually doesn’t require as much chemicals to make, and it doesn’t harm the environment. These products also bio-degrade, so you don’t have to manage or treat hazardous chemical waste.”

The paper industry governs the FSC to ensure that every step taken in the production of paper is eco-friendly.

“The FSC ensures a chain of custody of the paper which starts from the forest, to the pulp manufacturer, to the paper manufacturer to the paper merchants and then to the printer,” said Michael Crouch, associate director of communications and marketing. “So picking FSC approved paper is safe because we know they are using fair labor practices from the very beginning, starting with the lumber industry.”

FSC’s holistic approach particularly impresses Yarbray.

“The FSC considers things like indigenous peoples rights in forestry management, the whole community surrounding the environment, workers rights, and at the whole ecosystem of the forest,” Yarbray said.

Since the FSC considers where the wood fibers come from, it is able to consider the environmental impact on the community that surrounds the environment.

“They take into consideration how each step will affect the animals that depend on the trees for survival,” Yarbray said.

Crouch added that working with FSC-approved paper is valuable because many of companies buy paper from other countries like China or countries in South America that clear-cut rainforests.

“The Chinese government subsidizes the paper industry in China and as a result they flood our market with cheaper paper, which strains the ecosystems, takes resources away from native people and the animals that live there,” Crouch said.

Ledbetter said that individual involvement will lead these corporations to be more responsive and take the environment into account, regardless of economic issues.

“It’s up to us to make companies know that we care,” Ledbetter said. “We have to be responsible (and) smart and we have to be environmentally friendly. It’s an accountability and responsibility issue.”

Guilford has already taken active steps to becoming more environmentally responsible.

President Kent Chabotar signed the Climate Commitment, which according to Guilford’s Web site, “aligns Guilford with more than 250 institutions of higher education across the country who have pledged to address global warming by neutralizing their greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating research and educational efforts to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.”

“Switching to FSC paper is a perfect way we can start to implement the Climate Commitment,” Crouch said. “The paper that the campus stationary paper will be FSC approved by the end of this year and it is my hope that we will pick that up and move forward.”

Ledbetter has worked with schools like Elon University, UNC-Greensboro, and Winston Salem State to help them select environmentally friendly paper suppliers and hopes to work with Guilford in the near future.

Many environmentally-friendly products are more expensive, which is a major handicap that Guilford faces when trying to adopt more eco-friendly practices.

Yarbray hopes that Guilford will continue to use more environmentally sustainable products, but “we have to make the right choices because if the cost is double, it might not necessarily be the most sustainable thing for our school. You have to balance and make the improvements you can.”

Deutsch said that “being environmentally conscious and responsible isn’t only about buying environmentally friendly products and recycling but also doing things like picking up the trash,” which are things that students can contribute for free.

“Guilford should encourage students to take care of the environment in the ways they live,” Deutsch said. “To make an impact you have to take an extra step, and you can’t expect it to be easy.”

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