Thursday, June 28, 2007

Buying Paper? Read This First.

Maybe you are a paper purchaser whose company/organization has just adopted a responsible paper purchasing policy, and you're eager to get understandable information on what the issues are. Or maybe your trying to convince your institution to adopt such a policy and be more responsible. The Environmental Paper Network has produced two new topical facts sheets this summer to help paper purchasers make informed decisions about what's in the paper they are buying.

Understanding Recycled Fiber - This fact sheet helps explain why choosing paper with high post-consumer recycled fiber is the smart and responsible choice for purchasers.

Social Impacts of the Paper Industry - This fact sheet focuses on the human impact of fiber sourcing decisions, highlighting responsible and also controversial examples, and provides recommendations to the industry, paper purchasers, and investors.

They are just two of the many resources available at the EPN's website.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dogwood Alliance Bloggin' from Bonnaroo to the Swamp Forests

Dogwood Alliance has been blogging from across the US Southeast the last couple of weeks and is still on the road to raise awareness of the impacts of over-packaging and the damage it does to US Southern Forests. Check out video from Bonnaroo, the giant summer music festival in central Tennessee, where they spoke to thousands of people from across the US. And this week, they are on the road in coastal Virginia and North Carolina exploring endangered long-leaf pine forests and the amazing coastal swamp forests during the day, and talking to community groups in the evening. The target of their organizing? Yum! Brand Foods, whose ubiquitous and numerous fast food chains (Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC) are turning US Southern Forests into paper packaging without responsible environmental policies in place. Enjoy the video below of interviews at some Yum! fast food restaurants near endangered forests.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Win-Win-Win Paper Proposition for Fortune 500 CEO's

Did you know, that even with a recycling rate above 50%, the U.S. still landfills and incinerates more paper than China even uses as the second largest national consumer? Per capita in the U.S., we use more than 7 times more paper than China. There's a lot of room for improvements in efficiency in paper use, especially in U.S. offices, that can lead to significant cost savings for institutions, not to mention kudos and credit for environmental responsibility.

Enter GreenPrint. This week, GreenPrint Technologies announced an initiative to give away its paper and ink saving software to large organizations in exchange for half of the savings the software creates.

"Because the environmental benefit is so significant, we want to do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for large organizations to use GreenPrint," said GreenPrint CEO Hayden Hamilton. "We also see it as symbolic of GreenPrint's revolutionary proposition – saving money while saving the environment. Has any other company ever offered to pay the Fortune 500 to go green?"

According to studies released by Citigroup and Lexmark, wasted pages account for as much as 25% of all printed material and cost the Fortune 500 over $1 billion a year. Gartner Research estimates 1% to 3% of Fortune 500 revenues are spent on printing costs annually, and those costs are increasing every year. "Each office worker currently uses up to 50 sheets of A4 [printer] paper a day," says Louella Fernandes, Principal Analyst with Quocirca, "and estimates predict office paper consumption increasing by 20% per year on average."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rolling Stone Magazine Paper "Climate Neutral?"

Wenner Media yesterday announced that it is printing Rolling Stone magazine on manufactured carbon neutral paper, a process they claim adds no carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Beginning with the June 28, 2007 issue which has lengthy coverage of climate issues, Rolling Stone will print on Catalyst Cooled paper, a "planet friendly" option from Catalyst Paper. The claim is achieved through a combination of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at the mill and offsets purchased through tree planting projects in Canada.

While the moves' intentions drew praise, and a degree of polite applause, the failure to included recycled paper elicited concerns of a missed opportunity from several expert conservation organizations. As the NY Times reports, Frank Locantore of Co-op America's Magazine PAPER Project would have advised them of a different choice. “Are the steps that Rolling Stone is taking good and important ones?” Mr. Locantore asked. “Yes. But what I’m afraid they are doing in the process is diverting attention away from the need to use recycled paper.” He added, “All the evidence shows that the greatest ecological and social benefits come from using recycled paper.”

Likewise, in the Vancouver Sun, Nicole Rycroft of Markets Iniatitive, a leading Canadian conservation group working on paper industry issues had comments as well. "They have reduced the greenhouse gas emissions of this specific mill that produces this paper," she said. "But that doesn't take into consideration the impacts of the forest being cut down to make the paper in the first place."

When asked, Rolling Stone cited concerns about recycled paper's quality. However, other magazines that have switched, such as Fast Company and Inc. which was reported in the Paper Planet this week, demonstrate that is a myth and not a legitimate concern. Mansueto Ventures, which publishes Inc. and Fast Company, announced last week that it had switched both its publications to 100 percent recycled paper and had noticed no slip in quality.

Hopefully, Rolling Stones recent steps in a positive direction will lead to continued improvement of its paper choices. They, and other companies, will find more support if they look to the conservation community's "Common Vision for the Transformation of the Pulp and Paper Industry," which provides consensus guidance on what choices are most important.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mags and Cats on the Move to Responsible Paper

Last week saw several noteworthy announcements in the coated paper world for recycled content and FSC certified paper.

First, Mansueto Ventures says that beginning with the June issue of Inc. magazine, all Inc. and Fast Company newsstand and subscriber copies will be printed on 100 percent recycled paper. More details here.

Mansueto says that research by the Alliance for Environmental Innovation has shown that each ton of recycled fiber that displaces a ton of virgin fiber used in coated groundwood paper (stock used in magazines) reduces total energy consumption by 27 percent, reduces net greenhouse gas emission by 47 percent, reduces wastewater by 33 percent, and reduces solid waste by 54 percent.

“Printing our magazines on fully recycled paper and being a leader on the environmental front is a great way to reinforce the message we send to our 1.44 million subscribers on working smarter and creating the future of business,” said Mansueto Ventures CEO John Koten. “Doing our part to amplify environmentally responsible magazine publishing and leaving the world a better place is important to the values of our company. We encourage all publishers to do the same.

And second, L.L. Bean, the mail-order company, declined to renew its long-term contract with Verso Paper because it wants paper made under certified sustainable forestry practices that contains more recycled fiber content, the company said.

More and more companies are moving to more responsible paper everyday. What's in your paper?