Environmental Leaders Showcase Power of the Paper Calculator
By: Kim Porter, Environmental Paper Network
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to join over 1,500 sustainability, brand, and innovation leaders at the Sustainable Brands 2012 Conference in San Diego. The theme was “The Revolution will be Branded” and the Environmental Paper Network was there to showcase the paper “revolution” and enroll visionary brands in the journey to a responsible paper supply chain. It was inspiring to speak with the many organizations that are already using or just becoming familiar with what the Network offers.
Everyone knows a great brand needs to tell a great story. But smart managers know that the paper they use, and on which their brand appears, tells a story too. Where does it come from? What’s in your paper?
Our Network’s uniquely independent tools, including the Paper Calculator, the Paper Steps, the EcoPaper Toolkit, and the EcoPaper Database (all available at What’sInYourPaper.com) help start the journey and tell the story. Our wide Network of conservation experts and organizations are unified in their backing of these tools, and they are committed to collaborating with leadership brands to create high-impact conservation achievements. These partnerships are moving us into a new era for transforming one of the world’s biggest and most storied industries.
SB ‘12 offered an inspiring venue for leading companies to tell their stories, and I want to highlight two that did so with the help of the Environmental Paper Network’s Paper Calculator, a resource with free and premium services that organizations can use to measure their impacts, set goals, take action, and track and communicate their progress and environmental savings.
First was Sprint, who continues to “push the envelope.” At Sustainable Brands, Sprint announced their new Paper & Print Procurement Policy, developed in collaboration with EPN Steering Committee member, Canopy. Already #3 in Newsweek’s 2011 Green Rankings, and awarded a top grade by ForestEthics in the Green Grades report card last year, Sprint is still working hard to improve their sustainability practices even further. As part of their commitment, Sprint introduced their new ecoEnvelope, which reduces paper use, lowers environmental impact, and saves the company money.
Sprint relies heavily on the Paper Calculator to assess their impact, set goals, and benchmark their progress. Every new ecoEnvelope cites the Paper Calculator as the source of statistical evaluation, stating, “For every ecoEnvelope used, an estimated 7,700 pounds of paper, 86,000 gallons of water, and 23,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions are saved.” Since Sprint mails millions of invoices per month, the Paper Calculator is an important tool for independently measuring and communicating their efforts and progress to their customers.
Next up was Office Depot, a sustainability leader that is a registered Power User of the Calculator (a premium subscription that offers special services and helps sustain the independence of this non-profit initiative). Office Depot also had its use of the Calculator on display at the conference, through several capacities in its Greener Office program, which empowers their business customers to make greener purchasing choices. One new way Office Depot is using the Paper Calculator is measuring the impact of their new bag delivery service, which recently expanded to a nationwide program. Instead of disposable cardboard boxes for deliveries, they now use paper bags with 40% post-consumer recycled content.
Each delivery bag cites the Paper Calculator as the source for measuring the impact of the initiative, and states, “By having more of your office supplies delivered in recycled paper bags from Office Depot, rather than in cardboard boxes, your business will contribute to saving over 4 million pounds of wood-based resources (more than 20,000 trees) each year.”
It’s clear that the future of business still requires print and paper products. But visionary companies that embrace supply-chain responsibility, innovation, and efficiency will achieve real benefits and rewards for our forests and climate, and for their brand.
Is your brand using the Paper Calculator and/or other EPN resources to measure impact and tell your story? If so, let us know so that we can highlight your work. If not, please contact me today at to schedule a consultation. We look forward to partnering with you and helping you tell the world the story of what’s in YOUR paper!