Responsibly sourced paper

Every year an area of forest the size of the UK is cleared for timber, some of which goes into the production of paper. We want to know that the paper we use for our printing comes from responsible sources, so we now choose paper that carries the Forest Stewardship Council ® logo. The paper we use for the fold-out guide range contains 50% recycled material from post-consumer waste and 50% pulp from well-managed forests.

The Forest Stewardship Council is an independent, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation that promotes the responsible management of forests. They run a global forest certification system, and a Chain of Custody scheme that enables us to buy paper that we know has come from well-managed forests.

90% of our fold-out guide range is now printed on ‘FSC certified paper’. Over the next few years we hope to make this 100%, as all new and reprinted guides will also be on this paper. We are also now using this paper for new RES handbooks, new AIDGAP books and BRC Atlases. Look out for the ‘FSC tick-tree logo’ on our products.

To find out more about the Forest Stewardship Council please visit:

Carbon neutral

As an environmental education charity, Field Studies Council has set itself ambitious targets to reduce its carbon footprint by 40% per learner by 2020.

We have continue to use ‘Woodland Carbon’ for carbon balancing for the fold-out chart range. This year we used 15,063 kg of paper, which has been offset by the creation of 212 square metres of native woodland (about a tennis court’s worth!), capturing 8,435 kg of carbon.

Chlorine-free paper and vegetable-based inks

Although perhaps not such a widely appreciated issue as paper supply and waste, chlorine compounds used for bleaching pulp can be a significant pollutant in paper mill effluent. These compounds have a deleterious effect on freshwater ecosystems. In recent years unbleached papers have become more widely available. Field Studies Council has been using Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) paper for all our charts and books since 2005.

Ink is also an issue. Fossil fuel oil, used to manufacture petroleum-based inks, is a non-renewable resource. Furthermore removing petroleum-based inks from paper during the recycling process can lead to the production of a hazardous sludge. Field Studies Council has been using vegetable-based inks for all our charts and books since 2009.

Supporting local businesses

Over 95% of our printing and laminating is handled at firms within 30 miles of our base in Telford, Shropshire. All printing is carried out within the UK.


We are committed to reusing waste paper for packaging charts and books where possible. All plastic bags used are manufactured from biodegradeable cornstarch.