We are continuously working to ensure our printing processes are as sustainable as possible, and we are incredibly proud of our environmental accreditations which demonstrate this commitment.

Of course, these accreditations don’t mean much if you don’t know what all the various terminology means – so, we’ve broken it down for you below.

Alcohol-free or low-alcohol printing 

Lithographic printing that reduces VOC emissions by using lower amounts of or no isopropyl alcohol (IPA).

Carbon Balanced Paper

When the carbon impact of the paper production and distribution process has been balanced by the World Land Trust.

Carbon Balanced Printer

The unavoidable carbon emissions produced by a printing company are calculated, verified by a third party, balanced and then certified by a body such as the World Land Trust.

Carbon Balanced Publication

The carbon impacts of the entire production of a printed item has been measured and balanced by the World Land Trust (Carbon Balanced Paper + Carbon Balanced Printer = Carbon Balanced Publication).

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

The primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities and one of the main causes of global climate change.

Carbon Footprint

A calculation of the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and/or indirectly by a company, individual person, product or event. A carbon footprint is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).

Carbon Neutral

A term used to describe a solution which aims to achieve a zero carbon footprint.

Carbon Offset

Balancing or compensating for carbon dioxide emissions in one area by reducing emissions made elsewhere.

Climate Change

A gradual but long-lasting shift in Earth’s weather patterns or average temperatures.

Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS)

A voluntary environmental management instrument, developed in 1993 by the European Commission to allow organisations to evaluate, manage and improve their environmental performance.

Elemental chlorine-free (ECF)

Papers which have been produced from pulp bleached with a chlorine derivative such as chlorine dioxide (ClO2), instead of using the less environmentally friendly chlorine gas method.


The Forest Stewardship Council is a global not-for-profit organisation founded to support the responsible and sustainable management of the world’s forests.

FSC Certification®

This assurance demonstrates that wood, paper and other forest products have been sourced responsibly from recycled materials and/or well-managed forests.

FSC® Logo

An imprint on a wood or wood-based product, which demonstrates it has been made with or contains wood from FSC certified forests or that it has been made with recycled materials.

FSC® 100% 

Contains only fibre from FSC certified forests.

FSC® Mix 

The timber or fibre mixture in the product is either partly or wholly made up of reclaimed timber or fibre, timber or fibre from an FSC-certified forest, or timber or fibre from other controlled sources.

FSC® Recycled 

All the timber or fibre in the product is reclaimed material. Including both pre- and post-consumer recycled material.

Greenhouse Gases 

Gases in the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane and nitrous oxide that trap energy from the sun.


A scheme developed by the London Environment Centre (LEC) for smaller companies who lack the resources for IS0 14001 to demonstrate they are taking responsibility for and reducing their environmental impact.

ISO 14001

An internationally recognised standard that stipulates the requirements of an environmental management system and enables organisations to identify where and how it can reduce its environmental impact.

Post-consumer waste

When the end product has reached the consumer, been used and then recycled.

Pre-consumer waste

Also known as post-industrial waste, this is when printers’ waste such as off-cuts and unused copies may have been over-ordered.

Processed chlorine-free (PCF)

A material which includes recycled content and has been created using completely chlorine free processing. Both the recycled fibre and any virgin fibre must be bleached without chlorine or chlorine compounds.


To treat or process materials to make them suitable for reuse.

Recycled logo

Can be used on any recycled stock, even if it is not controlled by a body such as the FSC.

Recycled paper

Paper that has been reconstituted into paper again.

Renewable energy

Is energy generated from sustainable resources — such as wind, solar, tidal, geothermal heat, biomass and hydroelectric — that naturally replenish themselves and can be used again and again.

Sustainable business 

A business that has a low negative impact on either the global or local environment, community, society or economy.

Totally chlorine-free (TCF)

Paper which has either been produced with pulp bleached without any type of chlorine, or which has not been bleached at all.


A forum which looks to inform people about the sustainable and attractive benefits  of using print and paper as means of communication — www.twosides.info.

Vegetable-oil-based ink

Can be made from a variety of vegetable oils including soybean, linseed and corn. By replacing mineral oil with vegetable oil VOC emissions can be reduced or even cut out completely.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Composites emitted as gases from certain liquids or solids.

Woodland Carbon

A tree-planting scheme run by the Woodland Trust to balance carbon emissions and create new UK woodland.

World Land Trust (WLT)

A global conservation charity, which protects the world’s most biologically important and threatened habitats.

Woodland Trust

The UK’s largest woodland conservation charity. Founded in 1972, the organisation remains at the forefront of the campaign to protect, plant and restore UK woodland.