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Life is Full of Difficult (Paper) Choices – We Can Help

By: Joshua Martin, EPN Director

Added: May 24, 2012

Life is full of difficult choices. How to demonstrate your climate leadership with the high volume of paper your brand is printed on doesn’t have to be one of them. New resources published this week by a coalition of leading North American conservation groups can help.

With help from organizations like the Environmental Paper Network, the steps to reinforcing your corporate leadership as a sustainable brand through your internal and external paper choices are quite clear, and finding environmentally superior papers available to purchase in North America is easy. 

The Environmental Paper Network is a coalition of the leading not-for-profit organizations working to accelerate climate solutions in the paper industry, the third largest user of energy among manufacturers in the United States, producer of the most common material in our landfills, and a driver of temperature-raising deforestation in key global hotspots. That’s quite a large footprint. 

But let's face it. Paper is amazingly practical and vitally important to the lives of every single one of us. Even after efficiencies are implemented, paper is still an important part of doing business and purchased in large volumes by your company. When you do, you’ll want your brand to be on material sourced in a way that reflects your core values. Not all paper is created equal, and that’s why we encourage you to ask, “What’s In Your Paper?” 

This month, EPN’s RePaper Project spoke at the at the Boise Choices Summit in Anaheim, California showcasing the proven life-cycle benefits of choosing high-recycled content in all grades of paper. At the conference, we be shared brand new resources including:

New Fact Sheet: Paper to Protect the Planet: Understanding how recycled content in printing and writing paper – and all grades – reduces energy, water, chemical use, pollution and solid waste, while protecting forests.

New White Paper: PAPERWORK: Comparing Recycled to Virgin PaperWhy Recycled Content is Crucial for Printing & Writing Paper by Susan Kinsella of Conservatree, one of the country’s foremost experts on recycled paper. 

As always, we’ll be sharing information about indispensible tools available through our Network to assist paper purchasers including:

The Paper Calculator: Use the only independent, online eco-savings calculator for measuring and reporting the life-cycle benefits of your environmentally responsible paper choices.  Become a “Power User” to show your leadership, keep the tool independent and access premium features.

The EcoPaper Database: Updated in April 2012, the Database includes more than 350 of the greenest printing and writing eco papers in North America, designated according to a criteria developed by collaboration among a dozen leading environmental organizations.

Of course, recovered paper can't entirely supply our paper needs today. So remember, for any virgin forest fiber content in your paper, look to the only credible forestry certification widely recognized by the conservation community, the Forest Stewardship Council.  

If you are at the conference, please say hello to Pam Blackledge, the RePaper Project Coordinator. Or contact us at Environmental Paper Network to learn more and to learn more about partnership opportunities for climate leaders.  Stay tuned to the Paper Planet to read Pam's follow up post from the Summit.  

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