L.L. Bean Drops Longtime Catalog Printer Verso Paper over Recycling and Sustainability Issues Signs New Deal with Quad/Graphics



L.L. Bean has dropped its longtime catalog printer Verso Paper after the company was unable to meet Bean’s new guidelines for recycled content and sustainable forestry practices.  Verso Paper is a leading provider of paper for catalogs and was created when International Paper sold its coated papers business to Apollo Management.

Llbeancatalogs_2L.L. Bean signed a multi-year, multi-million-dollar agreement with Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics.  The multifaceted printing and related services contract begins in January 2008 with the company becoming the exclusive printer and prepress provider for all  L.L. Bean catalogs.  L.L. Bean produces more than 65 catalog titles and ships 250 million catalogs annually.

Quad/Graphics has a “chain-of-custody” certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).  Their clients may display the FSC trademarked “checkmark and tree” logo in their magazines, catalogs and other materials printed on FSC-certified paper.

The goals L.L. Bean set that Verso Paper was apparently unable to meet include the following; by 2008 90% of the fiber used in their catalogs must either be certified under one of the certification systems they recognize (FSC, SFI, CSA, PEFC, ATFS, MLP) or be recycled fiber.  As far as recycled content goes the company is transitioning all catalogs to 20% Post-Consumer Waste recycled content starting in 2008.