The Paperbox (FSC-C109654)

The Paperbox is a card making and wedding stationery supplier based in the rural setting of Easingwold, North Yorkshire. The family run business began in 2009 as a team of two and has since grown to a team of six working in the company's recently completed, purpose built factory. It is there where the company strives to provide quality and consistent products that their customers can rely on, whether they are handcrafting cards as a hobby or designing the invitations for their big day.

As the majority of products sold are paper-based, The Paperbox is very aware of the environmental impact their business can have and the importance of sustainability. While the company has always carefully selected paper merchants and has bought stock predominantly from FSC-certified suppliers and papermills, Operations Director, Ray Calland-Scoble stated, "[that] to move forwards, we needed to take it to the next level and become the next link in the chain of supply for ourselves, our customers and our brand. We wanted to be clear and transparent about the source of our products, which is what certification by the Forest Stewardship Council has given us."

The Paperbox understands the potential for their business to have a negative impact on the environment, and their conscious effort to decrease this impact has always been at the heart of the company. Along with this effort to source products from FSC-certified suppliers, it has now become important for them to be able to offer this identification in a meaningful, recognizable way to their own customers. The certification reflects not only their own ethos, but that of many of their customers and local social enterprises who they work closely with.

Though The Paperbox has only very recently become FSC certified, the news of certification has been well received on social media platforms and the company has indicated that they expect to see an increase in sales in the next quarter, particularly in the business sector. The products that are now certified include all envelopes and the majority of paper and card stock, which are cut and creased in a range of colours, sizes and styles.

Although a small number of other products are sold as embellishments or tools for card making, these items were not part of the auditing.

The auditing process to become certified was comprehensive yet straightforward for The Paperbox as the company already met many of the requirements and kept a detailed log of their chain of supply. Despite this, some changes did need to be made and there were some challenges faced along the way. Their first step was to identify which products were not in compliance with the FSC guidelines, however out of the vast range of card stock it became apparent that only two niche products did not meet the requirements. The company reassessed their own outputs in accordance with the guidelines. Once this was assessed it was important for the company to establish processes that were as automated as possible and additional staff training was undertaken to ensure that everybody was on the same page.

The experience itself was very informative and resulted in positive changes for The Paperbox, including automatic monitoring and verification of their supply companies’ certifications to ensure continuity and validity. Ray Calland-Scoble advised “our next steps would be to look at our packaging and to ensure not only that it is from a sustainable source, but even beyond the FSC and taking into consideration non-recyclables and how eco-friendly our packaging components are.”

For companies’ who think that FSC certification is the next step for them, creative director, Jenny Calland-Scoble, advised “[to] begin by looking at their own chain of supply and internal management and structures. Having a good grasp of this already meant that the auditing process could then focus on what we ourselves needed to do in house without disrupting our already established supply chain.

© Forest Stewardship Council® · FSC® F000231