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The James McNaughton Group has added the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) to its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The processes involved in FSC Certification also played their part in the company subsequently achieving ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 certification.

The James McNaughton Group supplies graphic and office paper, boards and plastics to 7,500 customers in the UK and Ireland. Customers range from small printers to large publishers. James McNaughton also supplies recycled paper directly to corporate clients.

The company operates through 23 sales centres and specialist business units, 6 regional distribution centres and 3 central distribution centres, employing 637 members of staff. In 2006 turnover was £260 million.

Growing need to prove sustainability

Faced with a growing demand from their customers and corporate end-users to prove their paper products came from sustainable, well-managed forests, James McNaughton opted for dual chain of custody certification.

“As a paper merchant, we need to provide the best possible products and services to meet our customers’ requirements, and our customers were specifically asking how we could prove the sustainability of our papers,” says Philip Smith, Communications Manager at the James McNaughton Group. Smith added, “We were delighted to have worked with SGS United Kingdom Ltd on FSC certification, which we recognise as an important part of our wider ‘sustainable solutions’ environmental program.”

FSC and PEFC certification are the two main chain of custody certifications in the paper- supply industry. They provide definitive proof that a company is using products from well-managed, sustainable forests. Every legal owner within the process must be certified to ensure a chain of custody exists so all suppliers can do business with each other.

In fact, many companies in the supply chain now expect to see the FSC or PEFC Chain of Custody certification number on all paperwork, and they simply won’t do business with a company that falls short of the standards.

The path to certification

The board of directors at the James McNaughton Group recognized the need to act corporately on environmental issues, to responsibly distinguish the company from its competitors. They appointed a Director of Corporate Responsibility to oversee the changes, who was to work closely with the Group’s Environmental Executive.

The company started looking at their processes, documenting them and amending them where necessary to ensure their processes fitted in to the overall chain of custody.

To help prepare for certification, James McNaughton employed a consultant who had worked with SGS before, to work alongside their Environmental Executive. An SGS auditor visited the company’s premises to carry out the audit and checked all the details of their supply process.

For example, the auditor picked an order at random from the purchasing department and checked it through the system to the point of supply in the warehouse. They then went in to quiz the warehouse staff directly.

After completing the audit, SGS confirmed that James McNaughton’s products had met the requirements of chain of custody for those products derived from a well-managed forest, and issued a multi-site FSC certification.

A continuing relationship with SGS

The relationship with SGS continues to prosper. Having worked with James McNaughton on all their standards, it means they understand the Group’s business and their market. In this way, SGS is well positioned to guide James McNaughton in the development of their business.

“At James McNaughton the Quality Manager is very environmentally focused and this has helped the company become even more successful in the active promotion of their paper brands,” says Sharon Sayers of SGS.

Following FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody certification James McNaughton held an environmental forum for suppliers and customers. SGS attended the conference and has since worked with the company to help launch its consultancy service, advising customers on how they can benefit from becoming sustainable businesses themselves.

As a result of this partnership, SGS now delivers final FSC audit and certification to other companies and has become the preferred supplier in the market.

James McNaughton continues to provide FSC and PEFC chain of custody seminars, in addition to its other environmental initiatives. The seminars have helped increase sales of recycled and certified papers and raised the level of engagement with its customers.

Notes to editors:

The James McNaughton Group supplies graphic and office paper, boards and plastics to 7,500 customers in the UK and Ireland. Customers range from small printers to large publishers. James McNaughton also supplies recycled and chain of custody certified paper directly to corporate clients.

Further Information:

Jonathan Noakes
Marketing Co-ordinator

SGS United Kingdom Ltd.
t: 01276 697655

Philip Smith
Communications Manager

The James McNaughton Group
t: 020 8320 3286

About SGS

SGS is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With over 50,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.