Cal Poly Graphic Communication Institute

Cal Poly Student-run Printing Company Receives Sustainability Re-certification

Cal Poly’s student-run printing, publishing and imaging company, University Graphic Systems (UGS), received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sustainability re-certification. UGS has held this certification for five years and is the only student organization of its kind in the nation to hold it.

UGS, which employs 14 student managers (including a sustainability manager) and approximately 75 interns, undergoes a yearly audit to maintain certification and ensure it abides by the standards provided by the Rain Forest Alliance, the FSC’s certification body. An audit report documented that UGS is in compliance on all 18 FSC standards.

UGS is a class and part of the Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department curriculum. It is an example of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing teaching philosophy. Students do it all from beginning to end: costing, pricing, estimating, budgeting and marketing, selling, producing, distributing, providing customer service, quality control and lean manufacturing, all while employing sustainable practices. 

“The renewal process this year was a great learning experience and challenge for me,” said Kendra Jaqua, UGS’s sustainability manager. “I learned more about the certification process and how FSC works. FSC is valuable to UGS because, as future industry leaders, it is our responsibility to learn and spread responsible production practices.”

Harvey Levenson, professor and head of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department, said, “I continue to marvel at our students’ sensitivity to issues of sustainability and overall environmental protection. When they graduate and enter the graphic communication field, it will be Cal Poly students who make the industry a better place and more responsive to protecting the environment. Having received the prestigious FSC certification as a student organization says a lot about our students and the values being taught at Cal Poly.”