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.

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.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Video: Mountains of Paper, Mounting Injustice

The World Rainforest Movement has produced an eye-opening online video about rising global paper consumption and its disastrous impact on forests and people around the world. Watch the English language version right here:

Mountains of Paper, Mounting Injustice from WRM on Vimeo.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Account for it!

There are quite a few stories out there about paper reduction efforts. And it seems that actual numbers of printing and writing paper use is down, at least in the U.S. Of course, we need to strengthen this effort, as Shrink points out.

Accountants get into the act in Tennessee. From the story:

Burke noted that the benefits are not both environmental and economical. "Our costs are actually going down," she said, "and we can pass our savings on to our clients."

Hopefully we'll be able to report more stories like this.