Green matters

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WWF launches eco-paper benchmark

 

Paperworld in Frankfurt was the setting for the launch of a new paper benchmarking tool from environmental organisation WWF.

 

Christened Check Your Paper (CYP), the new online tool is designed to help paper buyers find products with the lowest environmental impact.

 

The tool rates the environmental quality of the paper-making process for a given product, including how well forests supplying fibre are managed, use of recycled fibre, fossil CO2 emissions, waste going to landfills and water pollution from mills.

 

The fibre in all papers featured on the website’s audited list must come from known, legal sources. Paper products posted on the official list have been audited by third-party certification bodies to ensure credibility.

 

Makers of paper products including ArjoWiggins, ITC, Mondi, M-real, Lenzing Papier, SCA, Steinbeis Papier, Tullis Russell, and UPM are the first to disclose their selected papers’ environmental profile at http://checkyourpaper.panda.org.

 

WWF says that it invites other pulp and paper manufacturers to follow the example of these companies by communicating their products’ environmental performance transparently.

 

"We believe this new database will help paper buyers choose the most environmentally friendly papers on the market. WWF invites all paper buyers to check the tool before purchasing, and encourages other paper makers to join Check Your Paper," said Rodney Taylor, Forest Director, WWF International.

 

CYP provides a single percentage score for a product that indicates the quality of its production in terms of reduced environmental impact. In addition, the star rating breaks this down into impact mitigation performance specific to forests, climate change and aquatic ecosystems.

 

In order to earn the maximum five stars, the paper product must have:

 

• Positive impacts on forests, and contain high proportions of post-consumer recycled fibre and/or virgin fibre originating from credibly certified, well-managed forests.

 

• Reduced the manufacturer’s contributions to climate change through the use of recycled fibre, the adoption of responsible forest management and the minimising of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in the manufacturing process, as well as, indirectly, emissions of CO2 and methane from degrading waste in landfills.

 

• Close to zero water pollution through reduction of organic water pollution and reduced water pollution from bleaching, through promotion of unbleached or totally chlorine-free bleached products.

 

It should be noted that the paper ratings are based on information received from paper producers and others involved in the paper value chain, and that WWF is relying on their honesty to provide accurate information. That’s why WWF is recommending third-party auditing of the ratings, although this is entirely voluntary.

 

Audited products are flagged on the website, while non-audited products are marked as ‘provisional’.

 

Green Office Week back in May

 

Avery’s Green Office Week in the UK is back for its third year from 9-13 May.

 

The initiative aims to raise awareness of environmental issues and to encourage office workers to adopt practical ways to help the environment at work.

 

A voluntary network of Green Office Week ambassadors up and down the UK will promote daily themes involving action on energy, transport, waste and other green issues. They will post blogs about their activities and share good practice with other green-minded individuals.

 

As well as raising awareness, the week will encourage offices to review purchasing habits in line with environmental targets, devise action plans for the future and celebrate the achievements of people who consider the environment at work.

 

A poll carried out for this year’s Green Office Week found that only 17% of respondents think their office is ‘very or completely green’, with more than a quarter (28%) saying it is ‘still not very green’.

 

Two Sides sees anti-greenwash success

 

Two Sides, the UK-based organisation that promotes the responsible use of paper, has reported achieving measurable success from its national campaign to educate major UK corporate companies about using misleading or factually incorrect environmental claims in their marketing messages to promote lower-cost electronic billing and services.

 

Two Sides targeted companies that claimed switching to online communication was better for the environment without verifiable supporting evidence. The organisation says that ‘greenwash’ of this nature is creating a false impression about the sustainability of print and paper and has a detrimental effect on the print and paper industry.

 

Out of a total of 33 major corporate companies contacted – including well-known names such as EON Energy, Barclaycard and Vodafone – Two Sides has so far had a positive dialogue with 27 CEOs and staff from their legal departments.

 

As a result those companies have changed their online environmental claims or are engaging with Two Sides to use different wording that doesn’t include possibly misleading or factually incorrect environmental claims in online marketing information.

 

"While Two Sides welcomes an increased awareness of corporate responsibility and sustainability, it is wrong to try to gain environmental credibility by making misleading ‘green’ marketing statements to encourage customers to receive their bills or communications online," said Two Sides Director Martyn Eustace.

 

"If a company wants to encourage customers to switch to e-billing because it is more efficient and offers lower cost for the sender, then we have no quarrel with that. But we will continue to fight all the way in the future to stop corporates from making a link between reducing the use of paper and helping the environment unless they have proof that this is so."

 

New compostable products from Staples

 

Staples has announced new products from its Sustainable Earth brand including compostable kitchen items. The new products include Sustainable Earth janitorial paper products and compostable kitchen items such as cups, plates and cutlery.

 

Staples said that it has developed these eco-preferable alternatives by using renewable resources such as plant-based plastics and sugarcane, as well as recycled fibre and post-consumer content.

 

The new Staples kitchen product line is Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)-certified and is being marketed as an environmentally-preferable alternative to conventional paper and items that does not sacrifice quality or superior performance.

 

"Companies now have the ability to conveniently and cost-effectively purchase environmentally-preferable kitchen and paper products that perform as well as traditional alternatives, yet have less of an impact on the environment," said Lisa Hamblet, VP for the facility solutions and services business of Staples Advantage.

 

Green news in brief

 

ReBinder seals United deal

 

ReBinder, the manufacturer of recycled storage products, says that its ReSleeve and RePlay alternatives to plastic jewel cases are now available through United Stationers. The products are made in the US from FSC-certified, 100% recycled and recyclable materials.

 

"This is a category of products where most items seen on a shelf are made from plastic or vinyl and are sure to end up in a landfill," noted ReBinder CMO Brant Williams.

 

Closed loop products from Armor/HAN

 

Aftermarket cartridge manufacturer Armor has teamed up with German desktop accessories maker HAN to produce a series of products made from recycled toner cartridges.

 

Working with Armor’s sister company Revialis, the cartridges are broken down and the different plastics are then returned to the industrial cycle as Certified Newlife Plastic granules.

 

HAN has produced a set of desk accessories using the broken down plastics. The products will be available to resellers at the beginning of April.