Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's In Your TISSUE Paper?

With cold and flu season in full swing, Greenpeace released its Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide, a credit card-sized shopping guide that helps consumers find the greenest household paper products. In the guide, Greenpeace gives a thumbs up to brands Green Forest, Natural Value and Seventh Generation, while recommending that shoppers avoid products like Kleenex, Cottonelle, Charmin, and Angel Soft.

Greenpeace recommends products that meet three important environmental benchmarks: they are made from 100 percent overall recycled content, a minimum of which is 50 percent post-consumer recycled content, and are not bleached with chlorine or toxic chlorine compounds. The guide rates facial tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, and paper napkins.

"Tissue products that are made from recycled content help to reduce our impact on ancient forests, protecting forest ecosystems and wildlife," said Greenpeace Forest Campaigner Lindsey Allen. "By using our guide and voting with their dollars, shoppers can help save Endangered Forests."

Green Forest is an example of a responsible company making tissue products. All Green Forest products are made from 100 percent recycled paper, are whitened without chlorine, and are produced from a minimum of 90 percent post-consumer recycled paper.

"Our company's primary goal is to make truly environmentally friendly products that also work well for the consumer, while being profitable," said Allen Stedman, President of Planet Inc., manufacturers of Green Forest paper. "We want to make a difference in the marketplace, and we're delighted that Greenpeace has recognized our efforts."

One company that Greenpeace says can do much better is Kimberly-Clark, the largest tissue product company in the world with net sales in 2007 of over $18 billion dollars. Yet despite their large market share, Kimberly-Clark has not used its influence to show the industry how to be greener. Greenpeace gave an "Avoid" rating to Kimberly-Clark's household paper product brands Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle, and Viva.

Editors Note: This is the first installment in an 8 week "What's In Your Paper?" series on the Paper Planet focusing on specific sectors of the paper industry or paper from specific Endangered Forest regions. Subscribe or check back each Wednesday for a new posting in this series.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Witness to Clearcuts on the Carolina Coast

Dogwood Alliance has a new video clip of a recent walk through a giant clearcut harvested for paper production on the coast of North Carolina, USA. Organizer Eva Hernandez writes on their blog,

We got a tip from a local land trust that there were some fresh clearcuts nearby, so Ruth and I went to check them out and document them. The clearcuts were massive, and a few minutes away is the Holly Shelter Game Lands which “exhibits excellent examples of low pocosin, wiregrass uplands, and bald cypress swamps.”
Check it out:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Consumers Still Buying "Green", Especially Paper is reporting today on a new survey of 9,000 consumers in nine countries, conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, which indicates that consumers are still prioritizing "buying green," in spite of the downturn in the economy. In fact, the trend is increasing, and more consumers purchased green products in 2008 than in 2007.

The report is entitled Capturing the Green Advantage for Consumer Companies. It also includes results of interviews with executives at 20 leading consumer companies about their green experiences and strategies.

The survey is clear evidence that consumers are asking companies questions before they buy such as, "what's in your paper?" According to the report, when they were asked about their green shopping habits, a majority of respondents said that their most frequent green purchases were in the categories of paper and packaged products, disposable home products, fresh meat and vegetables, and electronics and appliances.

According to the report, "The green movement is about reducing waste and minimizing our impact on the environment. Companies that translate these goals into a holistic approach to offering differentiated green products bringing down costs across the entire value chain have been rewarded with higher margins and market share."

"The continuing expansion of green consciousness around the world presents a huge opportunity for smart companies," the report states. "The business case for green remains compelling, especially in a tough market."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Did you know that through the power of your paper choices you can help stop climate change, protect endangered forests, and create a healthier world? That’s why today millions of individual consumers and large volume purchasers of paper are asking those they do business with: “Whats in your paper?”

Responsible paper use, including buying responsibly and doing more with less, is one of the most important actions we can take to protect the climate and save our last endangered forests from extinction. To help provide straightforward guidance for paper purchasers, Environmental Paper Network created the new website delivers a comprehensive Toolkit full of resources to help paper purchasers save money by cutting paper waste and to buy paper products responsibly in an era of climate change and endangered forests. Featured in the Toolkit are the Paper Steps, a new one-page tool providing straightforward guidance to the hierarchy of environmental papers available.

The site also hosts the Paper Planet, an international blog reporting on the story of the social and environmental transformation of the paper industry. And video content, right now featuring a short film: The Secret Life of Paper.

Please stay tuned. As part of the launch of the new campaign, over the next couple of months the Paper Planet will bring you a new posting every week from experts from all over the world who will focus in on different end uses of paper and the specific issues to watch out for.

If you've got a paper that qualifies for one of the top two tiers of the Paper Steps, contact us. If you are an office, company, school or place of worship that already knows "what's in your paper," go ahead and brag about it. In the coming months we will be highlighting some of the leaders.

Thanks for visiting the site and for your role in developing the marketplace for environmentally superior paper.

Please consider posting a link to on your website. You can download web banners/buttons HERE.

Environmental Paper Network (EPN) is a coalition of over 100 organizations around the world working to advance the Common Vision for the Transformation of the Paper Industry. The Steering Committee of EPN is As You Sow, Conservatree, Dogwood Alliance, ForestEthics, Green America (formerly Co-op America), Green Press Initiative, Markets Initiative, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, and Rainforest Action Network.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


First there were misleading statements about recycled content, now old growth forest use is under scrutiny

A new report released by Australian conservation groups The Wilderness Society and, Still Wild, Still Threatened, shows that, despite claims to the contrary, Japanese paper manufacturers are the purchasers of wood chips derived from the destruction of Tasmania’s oldgrowth forests.

This revelation comes after a major scandal in Japan where it was revealed that Nippon and Oji were misleading consumers about the amount of recycled paper content in their products. That scandal led to major embarrassment for the companies and Nippon Paper’s president, Masatomo Nakamura resigned after the revelations his company had been lying. In January 2008 Shoichiro Suzuki, chairman of the Japan Paper Association and Oji Paper admitted they had been falsifying the amount of recycled content in their paper products.

Now a new crisis looms as it appears extremely likely that Nippon and Oji are the recipients of at least 268,000 green tonnes of woodchips from Tasmanian oldgrowth and mature forests each year. The report ‘Oldgrowth for Export’ highlights how those companies, the two major customers of Tasmanian woodchipping giant Gunns, are receiving oldgrowth woodchips.

Oldgrowth forests in Tasmania are being destroyed by logging and burning. Over 85% of the logs extracted from those forests end up as woodchips for export, largely to Japan where they processed into paper. Nippon and Oji are have been shown to have misled people about the use of recycled content in their paper, reportedly in an attempt to try and lure green-minded customers. We know that environmentally-conscious consumers in Japan will not want to source paper products that are made from the destruction of irreplaceable forests in Tasmania.

‘Oldgrowth for Export’ presents a case study of oldgrowth logging in the Derwent forests of Tasmania. It draws together information from a range of sources, including Forestry Tasmania, the Regional Forest Agreement, the Forest Practices Authority and the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, in order to paint a picture of where the logs from Tasmania’s oldgrowth forests go. The report refutes claims circulating in international pulp-industry circles that woodchips from Tasmanian do not contain oldgrowth.

The main findings of the report ‘Oldgrowth for Export’ are:

  • Approximately 78% of the original extent of tall-eucalypt forests have already been cleared or are available for logging;
  • 61 000 hectares of tall-eucalypt RFA oldgrowth are currently unprotected from logging;
  • The dominant product from logging of Tasmania’s public native forests is pulpwood (86%), with less than 5% becoming solid wood products;
  • The vast majority of pulpwood from Tasmanian native forests – and an even higher proportion of pulpwood sourced from publicly-owned RFA oldgrowth forests – are exported by Gunns Ltd as woodchips;
  • A significant proportion (at the absolute lowest, 20%) of woodchips from mature and oldgrowth forests are exported to Japan.

This report presents irrefutable evidence to show significant tracts of tall-eucalypt oldgrowth and other high-conservation-value forests in Tasmania are being woodchipped and exported to Japan by Gunns Ltd.

To read the full report go to:

Whilst the Japanese paper companies were misleading people about using recycled paper in their products they were actually buying large amounts of old growth woodchips from Tasmania. We hope that this exposure and a backlash from Japanese consumers will help convince Nippon and Oji to cease buying woodchips from oldgrowth and high-conservation-value forests in Tasmania and take a more environmentally responsible path into the future.

Monday, February 09, 2009

A Story of Transformation: ForestEthics + Victoria's Secret

A new short video out is a compelling presentation of the remarkable story of ForestEthics' campaign: Victoria's Dirty Secret. In December 2007, an unlikely alliance between Limited Brands, parent company of Victoria's Secret, and ForestEthics yielded an unprecedented victory for the protection of Endangered Forests. The transition from adversaries to allies was not easy, but in the end, a mixture of grassroots tactics, practical negotiations, and corporate responsibility on the part of Limited Brands brought an historic environmental agreement.

One really has to respect Tom Katzenmeyer, Sr. Vice President at Limited Brands for his forthrightness in this video and for all the energy he has put into his efforts to follow through on Limited Brands' commitments and to push other catalog companies to follow their lead. Consumers are asking: What's In Your Paper?

Friday, February 06, 2009

Forest Carbon Climate Myths

Everyone's talking about the role of forests in addressing climate change and how to count forestry in carbon markets. To help demystify some of the issues a great presentation is available from Doug Heiken of Oregon Wild.

In other related news to watch: The new US administration is creating a new Office of Ecosystem Services and Markets in the Department of Agriculture.

According to the Christian Science Monitor:

For now, the focus is on cataloging land-use activities that trap carbon and developing an acceptable standard for measuring them. The first step is setting up verifiable national standards – eco-bean counting for carbon sequestration as a 21st-century commodity crop.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Office paper saving tips

Here is a list of easy steps for reducing paper consumption and other resource-saving tips in an office setting from Simply Steven.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Better Paper Project Launches Eco-Publishing Web Community

On January 1st, the Green America Better Paper Project launched an online community at, the goal of which is to foster collaboration between magazine staff and industry stakeholders while encouraging the production and use of socially and environmentally responsible paper.

The BPP online community creates a diverse network by engaging magazine staff, paper mill representatives, paper merchants, printers, advertisers, designers, non-profits and supply chain experts. It will assist Better Paper Project participants by:

  • simplifying the ways that we communicate with everyone
  • allowing members to determine their own level of involvement with the Project
  • disseminating and categorizing information, news and advice targeted by specialty
  • encouraging networking and collaboration between like-minded professionals
  • tracking bookstore promotions, awards, Webinars and other events via an online calendar
  • providing a clear, easy to search archive of our online articles
  • consolidating our resource center, making it easier to find the paper solutions that best suit a publication's needs

Please take a few minutes to sign up at and check it out for yourself. If you have any questions about the Better Paper Project’s mission or what we can do for you, visit the About Us section of our website or contact Project Coordinator Keaty Gross at or 202.872.5364.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Markets Initiative Trend Report: Charting a New Course

A new report released today identifies a number of environmental recommendations that if implemented would help reposition Canada’s ailing pulp and paper industry for success.

The report comes from Markets Initiative and is entitled Charting a New Course for North America's Struggling Pulp and Paper Industries. It lays out in detail a new course designed to reinvigorate the industry based on adopting more environmental operations and procedures for the entire supply chain, from logging trees to the printed page. The report comes on the heels of the federal government’s budget, which provides $170 million in investment, but does not specify what technology, research and innovation are needed to actually turn the industry around.

“There’s no reason Canada’s troubled pulp and paper industry can’t take inspiration from the auto sector and start reinventing by producing a greener product,” says Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Markets Initiative, which over the past ten years has worked with all of Canada’s major publishers, printers and logging companies, developing and advising on green policies. “The world’s biggest publishers tell us time and time again they want more environmentally sound paper and more recycled paper. Why can’t Canada be the one to supply it?”

Jean Denault, corporate vice president, procurement and technology Transcontinental, North America's sixth largest printer, provided evidence that the findings have merit. "Transcontinental has a paper policy with a top line preference for 100% recycled domestically produced paper and we support investment in more Canadian de-inked and recycled paper capacity in the hopes it will make these papers more available and affordable."

To supply the companies that are engaged with Markets Initiative - mostly Canadian magazine, book and newspaper publishers - with the recycled and agricultural residue papers they are asking for, an additional 550 000 metric tonnes of eco-paper is needed – a contract worth upwards of $560 million. However, no mills in Canada are currently positioned to supply this very real and growing demand, annually.

To find a competitive edge in the current climate, the report recommends:

1. Increasing recycled paper capacity – this includes new market and policy initiatives to improve waste collection and additional deinking facilities - to supply hungry unserviced paper customers.

2. Prioritizing investment in commercial-scale agricultural residue pulping in Canada as a way to diversify beyond dependence on carbon rich, intact forests.

3. More collaboration among producers, consumers and government to develop policies for environmental paper, thereby responding to the growing public demand for eco-products.

4. Adopting innovative models that take into account a product's entire lifecycle and environmental impacts by redesigning production processes.

Get the full report here.