B Y K A R E N L O W E R Y H A L L
abine Lenz, a graphic designer by trade, We’ve also done numerous webinars on
founded Paper Specs six years ago. It is an the ggreen aspect. [We are planning one]
independent company that provides a about
abo greenwashing in general. A lot of
comprehensive paper database, cover- companies have jumped on the green
ing stock of every description and from every bandwagon and are making claims that
source, worldwide. It is a resource to help sound wonderful, but don’t really mean
designers and printers find the papers that much when it comes down to it.
best match the requirements for any proj-
ect and to improve their overall knowledge, Q: How can printers make sure
education, and understanding of all issues that their environmental policies
pertaining to paper. The company is not affili- won’t be construed as greenwash-
ated with any paper mills or merchants and does es ing?
not sell paper. Contact Lenz at Sabine@paperspecs.
pecs. A: I think that’s where the certification
com or visit www.paperspecs.com. comes in. I’d like to say you have to be certified—
and I know there is a cost involved—but it shows the
Q: What is Paper Specs? end user that you are serious and you know what you are
A: The idea was originally just to be a paper database as talking about. So the certification really helps to establish
a resource for designers, print buyers, and printers so they the printer as such and to say, “We are certified and we know
would know what is available at any given point. The da- this is important. We don’t just say we clean our presses this
tabase is really simple to use. You can search for nearly ev- way or we’re using that ink, but we have the proof that this
erything, starting by color and finish, and then go into the is actually happening on our end.”
weights and the calibers. Our members say they hear about
papers through us that they didn’t even know about before Q: Once a printer is certified, how can they best
because nobody has the time to find out what is out there. communicate to their customers what that means?
We currently feature about 2,500 papers from about 70 mills. A: Education is very high on my priority list there. The
For any paper print professional, it’s basically impossible to more educated the client, the easier it is to work with them.
keep up to date, and that’s where we come in. I would recommend that you don’t just say, “We’re FSC cer-
tified.” People know about this, but from our webinars and
Q: Have you noticed more requests for green paper from the questions we receive from our readers and members,
selections? it’s one of those t