Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Knows Which Catalog Senders are Naughty or Nice

International environmental group ForestEthics today released its 3rd annual ‘Naughty and Nice’ scorecard ranking the catalog industry—and for the first time, financial junk mailers—on the eco-friendliness of their paper.

Download the two-page ‘Naughty and Nice’ scorecard here.

Receiving holiday-themed scores of Naughty, Nice, or Checking Twice, 21 companies were evaluated according to four criteria: whether or not Endangered Forests are cut to produce the company’s catalogs; whether the company uses Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper; the amount of post-consumer recycled content in the company’s direct mailings; and the company’s efforts to reduce overall paper consumption.

The report comes on the heels of an article in Time magazine on rising consumer revolt against junk mail, which features ForestEthics and CatalogChoice.org.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yum Brands' First Sustainability Report

The fast food industry has come under greater scrutiny since the Dogwood Alliance launched its No Free Refills campaign, (nicely balanced with an alarming report and a fun take on a classic video game called PACkaging MAN) to address wasteful paper packaging made from US southern forests. Under the greater scrutiny, Yum Brands has released its first sustainability report. Its a notable first step, but of course Yum has a long way to go, and hasn't looked at its responsibility for the clearcutting in the southern US to produce the ludicrous amount of paper it consumes. But some of their paper reduction first steps are another example of rethinking how goods are delivered in order to cut costs, and reduce your paper/carbon footprint.

From EnvironmentalLeader: "The company reported that its U.S. brands use molded fiber drink cup carriers that are made from 100 percent recycled content and use trayliners with 40 percent recycled content. In 2008 Taco Bell eliminated trayliners, and reduced the materials used in its packaging by redesigning two plastic cups and seven different paper wraps, in total cutting paper usage by 3.2 million pounds and plastic by 4.6 million pounds."
UPDATE: Dogwood Alliance responds to release of Sustainability Report

Also today, Nokia is reporting how reducing packaging cut paper usage and saved money for them.
"Since reducing the size of product packaging, Sormunen says it has cut paper usage by 100 tons, taken 12,000 trucks off the road and saved €470 million (approximately $610 million)."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Publishers Warned of Future Consumer Revolt Against Paper

Video: Publishers Warned of Future Consumer Revolt Against Paper Video

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- On top of all its other current woes, the U.S. magazine business needs to be worried about a consumer backlash against paper-based publishing products. That was the message delivered to the recent American Magazine Conference by Canadian Forest Products Association president Avrim Lazar. He predicted that environmentally-minded Americans will increasingly focus on the connection between the paper-making industry and the problem of global climate change.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

US Postal Worker Punished for Not Delivering Junk Mail

Have you heard about Mailman Steve, the postal worker in North Carolina, USA, who stopped delivering junk mail to the homes on his route? Over almost ten years, Steve Padgett has been dealing with the absurd amount of junk mail by simply not delivering it--and in ten years, not a single person on his route complained.

This is one mailman who is providing people strictly with the service that they want, yet he was sentenced to three years prohibition and must pay $3,000 in restitution.

"Today you'll get credit for a life well lived," U.S. District Judge James C. Dever III told Padgett. Dever could have sent Padgett to prison under federal sentencing guidelines; instead, he put him on three years' probation, fined him $3,000 and ordered him to perform 500 hours of community service.

Check out the whole article in the Raleigh News & Observer and discuss what you think here on the Paper Planet. If you want more entertaining reading on this subject, see a longer article in Slate entitled, "The J. Crew Catalog Destroyed My Spirit: Why Mailmen Give Up.", which shows this is not an isolated incident.

Want to do something in Mailman Steve's honor? Find some resources on this topic at www.donotmail.org and www.catalogchoice.org

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Junk mail art


An artist in Chicago, Barbara Hashimoto, is producing stunning works of art out of junk mail. Having gathered all the junk mail sent to a small architect's firm during the course of one year, she has shredded it and is using it to create a constantly evolving artwork displayed in the firm's shopfront. Her art responds to the outrageous levels of junk mail in the USA - 77 billion items each year - and its horrific impacts on forests, as highlighted by Forest Ethics' Do Not Mail campaign.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Paper's carbon footprint

The huge scale of the global paper industry's climate change impacts are noted in a Guardian blog by Tony Juniper, former director of Friends of the Earth. He highlights the work of the Shrink project, saying 'Making paper emits three times more carbon than global aviation. The only answer is to consume less.'

Good riddance to Baikalsk Mill


Environmentalists are celebrating the closure of one of the most controversial pulp and paper mills in the world, at Baikalsk, on the shore of Lake Baikal, near Irkutsk, Russia. For more than 40 years this mill, owned by the billionaire Oleg Deripaska, has been pouring effluent polluted with chlorine-based chemicals into the lake. Baikal is the biggest and oldest body of freshwater on the planet, containing 20% of the world's drinking water and many endemic species. Protection of this lake has formed a focus for the environmental movement in Russia, led by Baikal Environmental Wave, which has campaigned tirelessly for the mill to be closed. The failure of an expensive effort to techo-fix the pollution problem has finally led government officials to demand that it shut down operations. It was originally designed to provide 'strategic pulp' to make rayon for parachutes, but this need was superceded by petrochemical fibres before the mill opened in the mid 1960s. Ever since it has produced packaging paper and textile fibres, mostly exported to China.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Will the financial crisis slow the pulp invasion?

In the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, eucalyptus pulp producers have been hit by the financial crisis, with currency slumps sending share values plummeting. Three major pulp companies in the region, Aracruz Cellulose, Votorantim Celulose e Papel (VCP) and Stora Enso, have informed the state government that three new pulp mills will no longer go ahead. It remains to be seen whether this will slow the spread of the eucalyptus plantations that were intended to supply fibre to the mills.

It is not surprising that a financial downturn would hit all three companies together as there are already tight links between them. Aracruz and Stora Enso are involved in a controversial joint venture, Veracel, and in September 2008 Aracruz agreed to a merger with VCP to form the world's biggest eucalyptus pulp manufacturer.

Reducing catalogs

We've mentioned before the big impact of junk mail and catalogs on the environment and the huge contribution to climate change. Eliminating catalogs and junk mail is a critical piece of combating climate change. Leeds catalog has apparently taken at least some steps toward this goal. Let's hope that this is expanded and catches on among other catalog companies.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Greenwash washerman

I'll be looking forward to this regular column in the Guardian Online. If you are not familiar with the Guardian, it is one the UK's national newspapers. Better than most.

The paper industry and energy are two of the most frequent loci of greenwash, so we should be seeing quite a bit linkde from here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two Sides, Indeed

The UK National Association of Paper Merchants has launched a marketing program, Two Sides, to

address these criticisms, to educate the paper-buying public of the true facts so they can make informed choices, while at the same time, promote responsible paper use. The key focus is to encourage people to question and challenge their existing wisdom about paper, to counteract the impact of the current environmental lobby against the paper industry, and arrest the guilt surrounding the use of paper.
On their web site, they also say that:

[...] the print and paper industries need to speak with a common voice to dispel the myths and present the real facts.
It doesn't look like they are making much headway in that regard. A Printweek article entitled "Premier Paper contradicts NAPM's campaign to promote paper's image" says, among other things:

Paper merchant Premier Paper Group has gone against the National Association of Paper Merchants' (NAPM) newly launched Two Sides campaign claiming that the paper industry "inevitably consumes precious natural resources" and has a "significant impact" on the environment.
Indeed. Don't forget to visit Shrink and learn how to reduce your paper consumption to a sustainable level.

Forests and Carbon Credits

If true, this is fairly good news:

The European Union should not allow industry to meet climate goals by funding tree planting or cutting deforestation in developing countries before 2020, said a leaked EU Commission paper due for release on Friday.
Many companies and their advocates want to avoid reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by paying developing countries for forest carbon credits, either through planting forests or plantations or through stopping deforestation. We do need to stop deforestation, but this scheme is basically setting up a kind of sub-prime market for carbon credits: trading real, permanent, current reductions of emissions in one place for uncertain and reversible (forests protected now are not guaranteed forever) 'assets.'

As we look forward to a post-Kyoto world, we need to work on both: companies must reduce emissions and become more efficient AND we need to protect and rejuvenate forests in tropical , temperate and boreal regions of the world to get these forests back to storing carbon and getting it out of the atmosphere where it is causing climate change.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Audio: Illegal Logging in the New Yorker

You may have already had a chance to see the fascinating article in last week's New Yorker about illegal logging, the Environmental Investigation Agency, product chain-of-custody and Wal-Mart.

Though the article itself is available by subscription only, you can listen to a fantastic interview with the author, Raffi Khatchadourian, HERE.

UDPATE 10/13: YOU CAN NOW READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE NEW YORKER HERE.

In May 2008, the United States Congress passed landmark legislation to address the U.S. market’s role in the global illegal logging crisis, becoming the first country in the world to ban the import of illegally harvested wood and wood products.

If you are interested in how these new amendments to the Lacey Act might affect your company, I suggest this FAQ developed by EIA as required reading. If you import any products or raw material coming from forest products, I suggest you had better be interested, as the penalties for noncompliance will be significant, and the issue is critically important for our economy and our environment.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Paper Industry Insider Affirms NGO Call for Reform

In an excellent article authored by a major UK paper distributor (Premier Paper Group) and posted to a leading paper industry blog, the case for reform in the industry and more responsible paper purchasing practices is made quite urgently. It is appropriately titled: Paper and the Environment - Confronting an Awkward Reality - An Insider’s View

Here is a snip:

"Paper is a wonderful product but its ecological impact on our planet is already too great and it is growing too quickly. We should all support initiatives which recognise the need to contain this impact such as:

* limiting the overall consumption of paper
* reducing the reliance on virgin fibre from trees
* urging social responsibility in pulp and paper manufacture
* being alert to the potential threats to our environment in the production of wood pulp
* demanding the clean production of both pulp and paper

These are not new proposals: they have been advocated by various environmental organisations for many years. It’s time that we all took them seriously."
True, these are exactly the specific actions being urged by large coalitions of conservation groups in North America, and also in Europe.

Here is another on the topic of recycling's environmental superiority:
"There can be no argument against the recycling of paper. In principle, the process of making recycled paper will save energy, use less water, and reduce the amount of chemicals used when compared with making paper from virgin fibres. For every tonne of paper recovered for recycling, about three cubic metres of precious landfill space will be saved."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Joshua Martin, Kelly Sheehan Recognized as Conservation Leaders

The Environmental Paper Network's own Joshua Martin received some much deserved recognition as a “Life Leader” in this month’s New Life Journal, the Southeast region’s healing and natural foods magazine. Check out the article here http://www.newlifejournal.com/oct08/lifes_leaders_joshua_martin_environmental_paper_network.shtml.


Keeping it in the family, Kelly Sheehan (Joshua's wife) was also recognized this month when she was nominated for “Outstanding Leader” at the Roosevelt-Ashe Society’s Conservation Awards and Gala for her work to protect the Southeast’s wild places.


Congratulations to Joshua & Kelly! Cora will be very, very proud -- and when she can talk she will thank you both for protecting the all of the special forests she gets to explore!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

UVM says 'no' to Kimberly Clark

University of Vermont students have successfully made a change for the better in their bathrooms. A student activist group:


...recently celebrated a public victory by removing all Kimberly-Clark custodial products such as Scott brand toilet paper from campus...
According to the student newspaper, the Cynic.

They have also managed to convince the university to get all recycled products for their 'custodial' needs. Congratulations to them.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Old Growth Forest Is a Big Carbon Sink

The next time someone tells you that clearcutting forests is a good thing because very young trees absorb more carbon than old growth forests, show them what science says. In a new study, published in Nature, a study analyzing more than 500 forests around the world settles the question once and for all.

When developing a paper procurement policy or organizational climate initiative, its important to take steps to ensure you are not unknowingly contributing to the loss of old growth or the conversion of natural forests to industrial tree plantations. Get ahead of the curve now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Greener Packaging for the Music Industry?

As Dogwood Alliance continues to educate consumers and companies about the impacts of irresponsible packaging, particularly on the forests of the Southern United States, there are good indications the industry is taking notice and starting to move. An article today on the GreenerDesign blog talks about what's happening. Here's a quote from an executive at Warner Music Group:

“Environmentally responsible behavior is good for corporate America,” said John Esposito, president and CEO of WEA Corp., Warner Music Group’s U.S. sales and retail marketing company. “It’s smart ecology and smart economics. For Warner Music Group, it has proven to lower the cost of paper procurement and waste as well as strengthening employee morale because they feel a part of this larger effort.”
A lot of companies are seeing how reducing paper use, increasing recovery, and paying better attention to what's in their paper they purchase can give them real savings and strengthen their brand. For tips on reducing paper use to save money, click here.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

DC Comics, Recycled Paper Superhero?

There's been a bit of action in the comic book sector of our paper planet, and hopefully, more to come.

Last week, DC comics announced in a post on Blog@Newsarama, some environmental improvements to some of their paper. Congratulations to DC Comics for taking leadership in moving the industry forward, and thanks. The announcement, from President Paul Levitz, states they were, "able to switch a number of our kids’ titles to a recycled newsprint paper stock, made from 85% post consumer waste and most of the Vertigo line to a recycled hibrite paper that is made from 40% post-consumer waste."

Hopefully this is an indication of even more good announcements to come from DC Comics, and continued increase of recycled content in all their comic book lines. However, there is one piece (actually, its in the headline of the post) that they seem to have received some bad advice on: their choice of forestry certification. As has been discussed many times in the Paper Planet, the only credible forestry certification scheme supported by a broad range of conservation organizations is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The blog post states that DC Comics is considering certification of its remaining virgin fiber in its catalogs to the standards of the inferior, less credible system, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). To be a true comic book industry leader, they should be choosing the FSC, and we hope they will look into it.

In a similar trend, Archie Comics announced in June it would publish its upcoming "Freshman Year" series on recycled paper, though it is unclear if it is 100% recycled or another amount. Though it no longer does, Archie Comics used to print ALL its comics on 100% recycled paper. Bring it back, Archie!

For more reading on comic books and the environment, check out this Comic Foundry article.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The French Government has pledged to shrink its paper consumption by 50%

Congratulations to the French government, which has pledged to reduce its paper consumption by half by 2012. In November 2008 it will host a seminar to discuss how this commitment can be put into practice and replicated in other European countries. By pledging a 50% cut in paper consumption France has demonstrated understanding that Europe's environmental footprint is twice what the planet can sustain, and also shown the political will to act upon that understanding. France currently has the presidency of Europe, and is thus in an excellent position to lead its European neighbours towards more sustainable consumption.

The French target can be found first in the 2007 National Action Plan for Sustainable Public Procurement, and it was recently reinforced by the undertakings of the Environment Round Table (Grenelle de l’Environnement). A White Paper on the implementation of the Environment Round Table (Title IV, Article 42, line c) states: "[The Government’s objective] between now and 2012 is to achieve a 50% reduction in paper consumption by its departments."

The same White Paper also includes the following commitment: "By 2012, only recycled paper – or paper obtained from sustainably-managed forests – will be used."

The seminar in November will feature the Shrink Project. It is being organised jointly by Amis De La Terre (Friends of the Earth, France) and the French government. For more details see here: http://www.amisdelaterre.org/Colloque-Consommation-et-achat.html

Friday, August 29, 2008

Kruger to Pursue FSC Certification to Respond to Customers

Canada's Boreal Forest is closer to being managed responsibly after today's announcement that major logging company Kruger intends to pursue Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

"The announcement by Kruger shows the power that an engaged marketplace and major customers have in bringing about better forest management in Canada," said Richard Brooks, Greenpeace forest campaign coordinator. "The next step is to make sure Kruger follows through with its promise and gets all of its logging operations and product lines FSC-certified in a short period of time."

For more than a year, Greenpeace has been urging customers of Kruger to pressure the paper and lumber supplier to adopt better forest management practices and protect intact forests. Forest Stewardship Council certification is a major step above status quo logging and leads to a more responsible managed forest.

The Kruger announcement is a challenge to some other forestry companies, such as AbitibiBowater, Buchanan Forest Products, and West Fraser, to green their operations. None of these companies are pursuing FSC certification nor protecting intact forest areas.

While greeting the news with applause, conservationists note that protecting intact forest areas and practicing FSC certified logging go hand in hand and are important steps to conserve the Boreal Forest. Kruger has not yet taken action to protect intact forests which are key habitats for endangered species such as woodland caribou.

Read Kruger's press release here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Asia is Talking About PulpWatch.org

Pulpwatch.org has been getting some attention lately, from everyone from paper purchasers to suppliers to international media. Today, there's an interesting article at CSR-Asia, which talks about Pulpwatch.org and also the Australian campaign, Wake Up Woolworths! Erin Lyon's article discusses how the websites are "demonstrating the increasingly global nature of both businesses, and also of those who work to hold them accountable." Recently, Woolworth's decided to cancel its contracts with supplier Asia Pulp and Paper because of their inability to provide reliable assurance of there environmental responsibility in the diminishing and endangered forests of Indonesia. The action follows on the same decision by US based retailer Staples earlier this year.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Paper for Peace

An extraordinary art project called Combat Paper is working with veterans of the war in Iraq, making paper out of military uniforms and using the paper to produce artworks and books. A USA-wide tour of workshops, lectures and exhibitions is underway.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Follow Your Paper Trail at PulpWatch.org

Sick of spreadsheets? How about a visually compelling map of the location and performance of the pulp mill you get your paper from? Its the easiest way yet to find out what's in your paper and avoid risk to your brand.

PulpWatch.org, launched by an international coalition of NGOs brings together GoogleMaps technology, environmental risks and manufacturing data on pulp and paper mills. It reveals their practices and rate their performance on social and environmental criteria. The website will be a tool for paper purchasers to find information easily on how a pulp mill is performing and identify social and environmental risks associated with those operations, no matter where they are in the world.

Pulpwatch.org provides transparency by assigning a Red, Yellow, or Green rating, in multiple categories for individual pulp mills. It rewards pulp mills which have adopted the cleanest technologies and embraced responsible fiber sourcing through credible forest certification by assigning a Green Light rating. It exposes pulp mills which have failed to adopt sustainable practices, or who are in conflict with local communities or workers by assigning a Red Light rating. The ratings are based on the widely supported conservation criteria laid down in the Common Vision for Transforming the Paper Industry and supported by information provided by local conservation organizations or other stakeholders based on credible evidence.

Press Release Here

Climate Change Enclosed

ForestEthics has a new report out about American junk mail impacts on the climate, called 'Climate Change Enclosed.' It opens with a quote from one of America's and the world's top climate scientists, James Hansen:

"20 years after I first testified before Congress on the threats posed by climate change, we have reached a point at which we must remove unnecessary carbon emissions from our lives, or face catastrophic consequences. It is hard to imagine waste more unnecessary than the 100 billion pieces of junk mail Americans receive each year, and these new findings, revealing that the emissions of junk mail are equal to those of over nine million cars, underscore the prudent necessity of a Do Not Mail Registry."
Nice-looking report. For the purposes of proper disclosure, I did much of the research of the numbers for the report.

The Rules for Carbon Accounting of Harvested Forests

This is a techie post, but it is important that we all understand how this works to understand the real emissions that are the result of paper production, consumption and disposal.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sets the rules by which countries report their Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The IPCC is empowered to make these rules according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Nearly every country, including the United States, is a signatory.

With all that in mind, let’s focus on the rules around emissions from harvesting forests and the storage of carbon in forest products. The rules for measuring carbon stored in ecosystems is actually pretty straightforward: the balance of carbon stored there year after year is measured (estimated) based on estimates for which the IPCC provides methodologies. Change in the carbon stored are reported either as an emission (the amount of carbon went down) or a removal (the amount of carbon went up). It is called a removal because the ecosystem removes carbon from the atmosphere. At present, the U.S. is estimated to be carbon positive, as trees grow more than they are cut down or are otherwise lost. This is the equation given in the IPCC’s Good Practice Guidance for Land-Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry for national greenhouse gas reporting of the carbon balance in forests:





The equation means that the change in forest carbon is equal to the change in living biomass plus the change in dead organic matter plus the change in soils.

There are also rules for accounting for harvests of forest products. This is the most significant issue with regard to the paper industry, since it lays out the rules by which the most important input into the industry is accounted for in terms of carbon emissions. Let’s focus on the Good Practice Guidance equation 3.2.7 “Annual Carbon Loss Due to Commercial Fellings.” The loss due to logging (a.k.a. harvest) is calculated as:

[losses from commercial fellings] = [the volume of wood extracted] x [wood density] x [biomass extraction factor] x [carbon left to decay] x [carbon content of the wood harvested]

For our purposes, we need to understand that the wood harvested is an emission of carbon and we also need to include the wood that is left in the forest that will decay and that must be accounted for as well. Thus, when accounting for inputs into products or the use of biomass for energy, harvested wood must be counted as an emission. There really is no ambiguity around this fact.

Those who state ‘biomass is carbon neutral’ (a normative statement, not a scientific one) rely on statements like this one in the 1996 Revised Guidelines for national greenhouse gas reporting:

“Biomass fuels are included in the national energy and CO2 emissions accounts for information only. Within the energy module biomass consumption is assumed to equal its regrowth.”
You see, they say, emissions are reported “for information only” and “biomass consumption is assumed equal to regrowth!” What they don’t say is why, as the very next sentence makes clear:

“Any departures from this hypothesis are counted within the Land Use Change and Forestry module.”
The reason biomass is not reported as an emission in the energy section of the reporting is because it would be double-counting to do so, as this emission has been accounted for already under forests. This view is accepted by the good people at the EPA and at Environment Canada who compile the numbers for the national greenhouse gas reports for the two countries. EPA said:

The net change in forest C is not equivalent to the net flux between forests and the atmosphere because timber harvests do not cause an immediate flux of C to the atmosphere. Instead, harvesting transfers C to a “product pool.” Once in a product pool, the C is emitted over time as CO2 when the wood product combusts or decays. The rate of emission varies considerably among different product pools. For example, if timber is harvested to produce energy, combustion releases C immediately. Conversely, if timber is harvested and used as lumber in a house, it may be many decades or even centuries before the lumber decays and C is released to the atmosphere. (emphasis added)
The Canadian National Report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions states the following:

In keeping with the current IPCC (2003) default methodology, emissions from forest management activities comprise all the CO2-C contained in harvested roundwood and harvest residues. All carbon transferred out of managed forests as
wood products is deemed an immediate emission.

Let’s proceed to a simplified example of how this might work:

In one year, a country could have 100 units of carbon in forests. If that country lets that carbon grow (as trees will do if left alone), then perhaps the next year the balance could be 105 units. In this scenario, the country gains five units of carbon that can be applied to its greenhouse gas emissions and is equal to an offset of other emissions. If that same country instead harvests the forests for ten units of carbon, counts these emissions, and also counts its growth of five units, ending up with a balance of 95 units. That is, most of the forests grew and it would have gone to 105, but ten units were removed and thus the country’s balance is 95, causing an net emission of five to be added to the country’s total emissions. For this harvest we would also need to calculate the carbon that was left in the forest to decay, and there are rules around how to do that. This ranges from 7% in boreal ecosystems to 25% in tropical plantations.

Thus, within the forest calculation, the harvest is an emission and all harvests must be treated as such. The system presumes forests will grow. Indeed trees grow whether we cut them or not. There are many complexities to how fast they grow at different stages of ecosystem re-growth (e.g., very young trees accumulate little carbon as do very old forests, while intermediate-aged trees are perhaps the most robust accumulators of carbon). There are also complexities about ownership, the intent of owners or managers, additional growth from management practices, etc. However, these rules in methodology allow us to make a simple estimate of the emissions from wood harvest to use in Carbon Footprinting or carbon accounting.

In a later post I will discuss how the portion of biomass removed from forests can be sequestered in products and specifically in paper as the IPCC rules allow, as well as an estimate done by the US Forest Service Forest Products Lab.

UPDATE

I was remiss in not posting the actual equation for accounting the "Annual Carbon Loss from Commercial Fellings," which is equation 3.2.7 in the IPCC Good Practice Guidance, Chapter 3. Here is the equation and notes about what the notation means taken directly from the guidance:


Monday, August 11, 2008

Video: The Secret Life of Paper






The Secret Life of Paper is a brand new 5-minute film on the impact of paper production and consumption on the environment brought to you by INFORM. Be one of the first to watch it right here on The Paper Planet. And visit the whole website at http://www.secret-life.org/paper.



Every Little Bit Helps, So Thanks Omni Hotels

Omni Hotels Goes Phone Book Free and Reduces its Paper Use

Omni Hotels is hanging up on phone books for good. The luxury hotel brand announced today that it will immediately recycle its current stock of approximately 30,000 phone books and eliminate future use of phone books at all of its properties.

"Saying goodbye to phone books means Omni Hotels will preserve approximately 217,200 pounds of paper each year," said Richard Maxfield, senior vice president of operations for Omni Hotels. "Our goal is to preserve more than 18,000 trees over the next decade. We feel good about the impact this initiative will have on the environment."

Paper reduction is catching on at www.shrinkpaper.org

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Dogwood Alliance Releases PACkaging MAN Video Game

Who says you can’t have fun while saving the forests… And to prove the point, Dogwood Alliance has created the coolest video game since 1980!

This morning Dogwood Alliance launched an environmentally themed video game, Packaging Man, to raise awareness on the destructive impact that fast food paper packaging has on Southern forests. Play a video game and save Southern forests? That’s right… based on the old school Pac-Man arcade game they’ve put a new environmentally themed twist on the classic game.

Paper company executive are gobbling up all the forests. Packaging Man must save the day and protect Southern forests! Rising up from a giant pile of discarded wrappers, bags and boxes, Packaging Man is the hero. After you play the quick game you can take action and send a message to the CEO of McDonalds and the rest of the 11 Fast Food Junkies whose packaging decisions so negatively impact Southern forests.

The paper company executives are gobbling up all the forests. Packaging Man must save the Day!

Play the game at: http://www.nofreerefills.org/files/packman/packman.html

To view the full press release, visit: http://pressroomda.greenmediatoolshed.org/node/22098

Tasmanian Pulp Mill: Emissions Boondoggle


A new report, Green Carbon, from research scientists at the Australian National University has shown the importance of saving native (aka natural) forests to protect the climate. Seems we have been underestimating the carbon store there, at least in the natural eucalyptus forests in Australia. It is also likely we do this elsewhere, or at least get the accounting wrong when we report on our national greenhouse gas emissions. We can look at this in later posts. Here's a link (.pdf) to a synopsis of the report.

A paper company, Gunns, is currently cutting these forests down in Tasmania, replacing the native forests with plantations and thereby reducing the stored carbon to a fraction of its original amount. They also want to build a large pulp mill to further exploit these forests.

Take a look at the Wilderness Society's video of the logging and civil society response.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fifty powerful paper people

Who's moving and shaking in the paper world? The forest products and paper industry information provider RISI has produced a listing of the 50 people it deems to be most powerful in the pulp and paper industry. The top three are the bosses of Asia Pulp and Paper, International Paper and StoraEnso, and three of the top seven are leaders of the Chinese industry. Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) are both represented, with RISI making its view of such environmental organisations clear, describing them as 'the bane of the forest products producer's lives' (sic). The Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC's) Heiko Liedeker is at number 9, while the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes' (PEFC's) Ben Gunnerberg is 36th. Celebrities on the list include Russian president Dmitry Medvedev and Harry Potter author JK Rowlings. IKEA's paper buyer came in at number 50, pipping the Pope at the post, with IKEA catalogues apparently now more numerous than bibles.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New European Paper Ecolabel or More of the Same Mediocre Standards?






A new European association, the paper by Nature Association, comprising UPM Kymmene, Stora Enso, Arjo Wiggins, MECSEA (Manufacturers of Educational and Commercial Stationery Association) and FEPE (European Envelope Manufacturers Association) has just announced its plans for a new converted paper European ecolabel 'Paper by Nature'. The Association is currently inviting comments on its ecolabel criteria by 10 September 2008.

This blogger has yet to fully review the criteria which cover some key areas of concern to all such as origin of the raw materials, chemical products, emissions, waste management and energy use. But she does note that whilst the Association states that its approach is 'entirely based on a multi-stakeholder dialogue' it has created 'a specific Observer status reserved for environmental NGOs and consumer associations'; it is not clear if NGOs can actually become members and therefore be elected to its board.

Other observers have called the initiative 'greenwash' and noted that forest certification systems are treated equally, no preference is made between recycled and virgin paper and that there is no onus to reduce paper consumption.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Paper Trails: From Trees to Trash - The True Cost of Paper



The new book about the paper industry's impacts, Paper Trails: From Trees to Trash, the True Cost of Paper, by Mandy Haggith, is getting good reviews in the UK press. The Times likes its global stories and exposure of the problems caused by excessive paper consumption, and says the book leaves the reader feeling empowered to tweak their own paper use for the better. The Independent and Evening Standard are also positive in their appraisals. To get a taste of the book, watch this 45 second video.

video

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The BBC on Green Press Initiative and Green Book Publishing

BBC Radio Program "The Word" talks with Tyson Miller of the Green Press Initiative as its top story.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Victory: Ontario Moves to Protect Boreal

Big news reported in the Globe and Mail today:

One half of Ontario's vast boreal forest will be permanently protected from mining and other resource development projects as part of a sweeping plan unveiled by Premier Dalton McGuinty to combat climate change.

The government will protect at least 225,000 square kilometres from development, representing one half of the boreal region in the far north and an area 1.5 times greater in size than all the Maritime provinces combined, Mr. McGuinty said Monday at a news conference. This land will be off limits to any resource projects and restricted to tourism and traditional aboriginal uses, such as hunting and fishing, he said.

"It's unspoiled and undisturbed, and if there's one thing we know for sure, it's not going to stay that way forever unless we do something,” he said.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"More Recycled Paper Needs to Be Used"

The Triple Pundit today is talking recycled paper, and echoing the call to business to embrace the foundation for a sustainable solution: a strong paper recycling system.

From the post:

"Some of the big publishing houses have goals to use more recycled paper. In 2006 Random House launched its Environmental Paper Initiative with the goal of increasing its use of recycled paper tenfold, to 30 percent, by 2010. In 2006 only three percent of its titles were printed on recycled paper.

Last November Simon & Schuster announced its commitment to using at least 10 percent recycled paper. By 2012 S&S wants to 25 percent of all its paper to be from recycled fiber.

Thomas Nelson recently developed a program to reduce the company’s paper consumption by at least 30 percent by 2012, and will use at least 20 percent recycled fiber.

Scholastic, the textbook publisher, set a goal to increase its use of recycled paper by 25 percent within the next five years which will cause a reduction of 23,988,000 lbs. of GHG emissions."
What's in your paper......?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Paper Trails

Paper Trails, the new book by Mandy Haggith about the international paper industry, is out in the UK! There's a great article in the UK Independent about it, with a great photo of Mandy's paper mountain. If you are in the UK, it is already available online. I'll be heading out later today to see if I can find it in our local book shops here in Cambridge.