Green matters

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Companies named and shamed

 

Office products companies have appeared on a list published by Greenpeace that names and shames corporations it claims are contributing to forest destruction and species loss in Indonesia by buying from paper and palm oil giant Sinar Mas, a subsidiary of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP).

 

Australian paper supplier PaperlinX, Hewlett-Packard and WH Smith are named alongside Wal-Mart, Carrefour, National Geographic and Tesco.

 

Greenpeace said Sinar Mas’ subsidiary Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) was "relentlessly trashing rainforest, spewing carbon into the atmosphere and driving species to extinction in the Southeast Asian archipelago".

 

"Sinar Mas’s ‘sustainability commitments’ are not worth the paper they are written on and some of the world’s best-known brands are literally pulping the planet by buying from them," Greenpeace’s Southeast Asia forest campaigner Bustar Maitar said in a statement.

 

The Greenpeace report, entitled How Sinar Mas is pulping the planet, accuses companies of being complicit in the rampant destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands by buying from APP.

 

Greenpeace is urging all companies still working alongside APP to stop their business with them.

 

"By not doing business with APP, those companies help in stopping destruction of forests and peatlands in Indonesia," Maitar said.

 

Corporate Express was also cited in the report, but in a statement to OPI, Owen Davis, Senior Manager of Public Relations at Staples wrote: "Staples ended its contracts with Asia Pulp & Paper in January 2008, and Corporate Express stopped buying from APP shortly after Staples acquired the company in July 2008.

 

"Staples has a long-standing commitment to improving the environmental attributes of the paper products we offer, working closely with our paper suppliers for continuous improvements over time. Staples ended its relationship with APP in 2008 due to their clear lack of progress in improving their environmental performance."

 

Supply chain award for Grand & Toy

 

OfficeMax’s Canadian subsidiary, Grand & Toy, recently won the 2010 Supply Chain Excellence award from the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC).

 

While next-day delivery has become something of a given in the B2B office supplies industry, Grand & Toy won the award for a 48-hour delivery programme that it introduced in 2009.

 

The company – which made seven million deliveries in 2009 – was looking to offer an environmental alternative to next-day delivery. By encouraging a shift in customer ordering to a more sustainable 48-hour standard, Grand & Toy was able to reduce its fuel consumption and shrink its carbon footprint with less frequent deliveries. Since it was preparing fewer boxed orders, it also decreased package waste.

 

By the end of 2009, almost 50 percent of Grand & Toy’s customers had adopted the voluntary 48-hour standard.

 

"Corporate procurement has rapidly evolved into a sophisticated practice that factors in sustainability, business strategy and fiscal responsibility. At Grand & Toy, we recognised this shift and aligned our business with a strong commitment to sustainability," said COO Gary D’Andrea.

 

"It’s allowed us to be an agent of change by offering environmentally preferable products, services and processes to our customers.

 

"This award demonstrates that our approach is resonating with our customers, supplier partners and the industry as a whole."

 

Businesses wasting pens and money

 

Offices are wasting thousands of pounds each year on office products that go unused or get lost, according to a study by UK office supplies company, Holt Business Solutions.

 

In addition to these figures, over 6,000 paper clips and 400 pens are unused or simply get put away in desk drawers, only for more to be ordered next time. Holt claims it is currently the only office supplies company in the north-west of England working towards carbon-neutral accreditation, and says it is applying greener business processes such as making fewer, larger orders to cut back on transport emissions and wasteful invoicing.

 

Trevor Holt, Managing Director at Holt Business Solutions, said: "The smallest things, such as having a quick tidy around your desk and the office before placing an order for new office supplies, can make a real difference not only to your business’ carbon footprint, but also your overheads."

 

Holt offers an office audit, whereby an office supply expert visits a business, takes a full itinerary of everything it uses and then formulates an order tailored to its specific needs. Using this audit, Holt guarantees to save a business 10 percent on its last office products order.

 

"After using our auditing service, companies are amazed at how much they have been over-ordering," Holt added. "Businesses generally find it easier to simply order more than to step back and look at what’s already hanging around the office. We’re just happy to spread the word about how easy it is to make your company more environmentally friendly."

 

Holt is working closely with a number of consultants from organisations, such as its dealer group Integra, to develop and execute the carbon-neutral processes for itself and its customers around the north-west over the coming months.

 

Lyreco expands charity programme

 

Lyreco has expanded its Lyreco For Education charity programme to involve customers and suppliers.

 

What began as an internal project in 2008 with a partnership with UNICEF became Lyreco For Education in 2009. The aim is to support the development and education of children in different parts of the world. Each year will see support for a new project in a different country.

 

Last year, the programme raised almost h190,000 ($230,000) for projects in Vietnam, and in 2010 Lyreco is partnering with international NGO CARE to support the Duque de Caxias project in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

Lyreco says that its subsidiaries are all actively participating and coming up with creative ways of raising funds, while the project has now extended to customers and suppliers, with some specific promotions and partnerships.

 

Mondi reports carbon footprint results

 

Paper manufacturer Mondi has announced the results of its recent carbon footprint assessment.

 

The company says the initiative – which is a voluntary evaluation – demonstrates its commitment to adhere to accepted scientific standards and the open disclosure of its environmental performance.

 

The carbon footprint assessment included eight mills producing paper and board (in Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Russia and South Africa) and 24 different products that ranged from digital papers like Color Copy to Kraft paper qualities.

 

The product carbon footprint was calculated with the assistance of the firm Climate Partner and in accordance with the Confederation of European Paper Producers’ (CEPI) ‘Ten toes’ standard for carbon footprint calculation. The ten toes represent key phases in the product lifecycle, which are used to calculate the carbon footprint of paper and board.

 

Mondi calculated its company carbon footprint by subtracting the positive carbon reducing effects (from forestation, for example) from the total carbon emissions produced from all corporate operations.

 

The total approximate company carbon footprint was 890,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2009. This calculation of the CO2 savings from forest operations was carried out in accordance with the standard methodology established by the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), a leading source of reliable data on environmental issues affecting the forest products industry. Both the company carbon footprint and product carbon footprint are available from Mondi’s sales organisations.

 

Mondi says the recent introduction of CO2-neutral products to its product portfolio was made possible by calculating the CO2 emissions produced in the product’s lifecycle, with Nautilus SuperWhite currently available as a CO2-neutral product.

 

According to Uwe Fölster, Mondi’s Group Head of Sustainable Development: "The product carbon footprint calculation is a further step to assess the impact of production in terms of emissions to air. Mondi has set emission reduction targets until 2014 with an ambitious goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 percent against the 2004 baseline. By the end of 2009, we had achieved a near 12 percent reduction in absolute terms.