The PrintReleaf Standard outlines the operational, financial, and organizational requirements for members of our network of certified Global Forestry Partners.

We have taken great measure to ensure authenticity, transparency, and security by developing the PrintReleaf Standard, the industry’s first standard for reforesting paper consumption.

About the PrintReleaf Standard

The PrintReleaf Standard, established by leading print and forestry experts, is an open and public document which outlines the minimum requirements to achieve certification as a PrintReleaf Global Forestry Partner as well as the verification process to ensure survivability of all newly planted forests.

Third party audit and verification processes are administered by SGS International. Customers can be certain that the volume and survivability of trees planted by PrintReleaf's Certified Global Reforestation Partners is accurate and authentic.

The PrintReleaf Standard Field Audit Process

PrintReleaf believes trust is the cornerstone of any good partnership. That's why we have developed strict and innovative industry standards to verify the performance of our reforestation projects. More importantly, we can report back to our partners and end customers that their investments in our forests are verified and sustainable.

Certifying Body

SGS International certifies our Global Forestry Partners and leads field audits across our network of projects to verify 100% net survivability of our forests. All projects are liable to replant any loss short of 100% net survivability over an ongoing 8 year audit cycle.

About SGS International

SGS International is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. Recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity, we employ over 70,000 people and operate a network of more than 1,350 offices and laboratories around the world.


PrintReleaf has a two-phased approach to certification: Organizational Certification and Project Certification. The following sections outline the basic requirements derived from the PrintReleaf Standard which represents the cornerstone of the PrintReleaf system.

Organizational Certification

Our Global Forestry Partners initially attain PrintReleaf Certification as an organization. Our certifying body, SGS International, administers an audit to ensure our partners meet the organizational requirements outlined in the PrintReleaf Standard. At a high level, the PrintReleaf Standard requires that our partners:

  • demonstrate a track record and expertise in forestry best practices
  • a thorough understanding of the PrintReleaf Standard
  • are transparent with their reporting
  • are financially stable and healthy
  • evidence right to land; right to plant trees upon on the land

Project Certification

Many of our Global Forestry Partners manage one or more reforestation projects, i.e., geographic restoration areas where they plant net-new trees back into our global forestry system. As part of the organizational audit, SGS International also requires specific project details meet the minimum requirements of the PrintReleaf Standard, namely:

  • evidence of project management on site at the project with reporting responsibility to organizational headquarters
  • detailed awareness of the project requirements specified in the PrintReleaf Standard
  • a track record of forest management expertise at the respective project
  • attention to quantitative tree planting requirements
  • attention to species allocation and corresponding survival rates
  • awareness to meet tree planting timeframe requirements relative to each quarterly PrintReleaf project transaction

Application of The Standard

Step One


PrintReleaf measures your company's paper consumption over time, calculating your forest impact.

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Step Two


100% of your paper consumption is certifiably reforested at global planting projects of your choice.

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Step Three


SGS International, our certifying body, verifies 100% net survivability of the trees at each reforestation project.

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Through PrintReleaf, your paper consumption is measured and trees are automatically reforested across our global network of certified reforestation projects.

PrintReleaf guarantees every sheet of paper a customer consumes will be reforested at a rate of 8,333 sheets of standard letter (8.5 × 11" 20lb paper) or 37.16kg per tree (40ft height × 7in width or 12.192m × 0.1778m).

This open-source formula is widely and generally accepted as the industry standard as established by the Environmental Paper Network.

Learn More at The Environmental Paper Network


PrintReleaf certifies the reforestation of each customer’s forest footprint according to the measurement and calculations defined in the PrintReleaf Standard.

Each month, customers are issued certificates for trees planted at reforestation projects of their choice.

At the same time PrintReleaf will update each customer’s Lifetime Certificate and report on their growing reforestation impact across PrintReleaf’s network of global projects.

Lifetime Certificates are living documents which are automatically updated


We have developed a rigorous audit process with our certifying body, SGS International, a leading global forestry auditor with expertise in Chain of Custody (CoC) certification, to uphold and maintain the integrity of the PrintReleaf Standard.

Each reforestation project is audited over an initial eight year verification timeline, then ongoing, until capacity is achieved to ensure 100% net survivability of trees.

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Certification Comparison: PrintReleaf vs. Chain of Custody Standards

The following chart outlines a description and details of the PrintReleaf Certification standard as well as comparative details for existing conventional Chain of Custody (CoC) certification standards. PrintReleaf Certification provides a guarantee to reforest paper consumption back into the natural environment. Existing Chain of Custody certification provides supply chain assurance and knowledge that paper was made from sustainable sources. PrintReleaf certification may be applied independently of or in combination with CoC Certification.

Certification Description
Full name PrintReleaf Chain of Custody Certification
Primary focus Paper used by printers, print customers, and converters Chain of custody for lumber and paper
Description Automatically plants trees equivalent to the paper used by printers and converters. Plantings certified by independent agency. Several global reforestation sites available. Provides supply chain assurance through standards. Encourages the use of wood and paper from certified sustainable forests.
Guarantees PrintReleaf warrants that the paper measured is reforested back into the natural environment. PrintReleaf guarantees an eventual 1:1 replacement of paper:biomass. Net impact is, at minimum, neutral – and often positive. Generally warrants that certified paper came from a sustainable well-managed source (forest or plantation). Net impact is neutral.
Certification Description
Print job cost premium 1-2% of print job (generally) 2-4% of print job (generally), plus amortization of annual certification cost.1
Initial or annual facility audit required No Yes, both
Time to issue print job logo / certification mark Zero, on demand 24 to 72 hours
Paper Type Application Any type or stock of paper Only CoC certified stocks
Software to automate operational workflow Yes No
Growth of global forests Positive Neutral
Lifetime reforestation certification Yes No
Personalized selection of reforestation project Yes Not applicable
Tree survival Guaranteed Not applicable
Reforestation scope Global Global or Regional
1 Information sourced from multiple CoC Certified commercial printers.

Download PDF - Certification Comparison: PrintReleaf vs. Chain of Custody Standards