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Paper – a sustainable business Leveraging the industry’s green credentials.

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Presentation on theme: "Paper – a sustainable business Leveraging the industry’s green credentials."— Presentation transcript:

1 Paper – a sustainable business Leveraging the industry’s green credentials

2 Slide 2 Is paper on its way out?  Paper is a key driver of literacy and education, particularly in the developing world, where electronic media are often inaccessible and unaffordable  In both the developed and developing world, usage of high end paper increases as consumers become more affluent.  Paper is part of our culture and is an integral part of our everyday lives. Definitely not!

3 So why has paper got such a bad rep? Slide 3 Negative messaging fuels misconceptions:  Messages at the end of s: “ Respect our Earth – please consider the environment before printing this ”  Banks and other companies urging consumers to receive statements and invoices via rather than through the post as this ‘saves’ trees  Paper usage is associated with destruction of the world’s tropical forests, which is playing a major role in climate change and accounts for almost one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gases in the atmosphere  Some consumers believe that plastic has a much lower carbon footprint than paper

4 Slide 4 Responding to misconceptions: saving trees  Receiving invoices via is more about saving money on postage costs than being green  You can’t “save” a tree any more than you can save an apple or a bunch of grapes. The plantation trees we use to make pulp and paper products are crops, like grapes. By making paper we’re adding value to the trees, just as by making wine the farmer is adding value to grapes

5 Responding to misconceptions: sustainably managed forests Internationally recognised independently verified forest certification systems give consumers the assurance that the paper products they’re buying are sourced from sustainably managed forests and not from endangered tropical forests Slide 5

6 Responding to misconceptions: carbon footprint How does paper’s carbon footprint compare with other materials?  There are a number of studies which show that the carbon footprint of paper is higher than that of plastic.  BUT in all of these studies it is about where you draw the boundaries and what you compare.  For example, if you conduct a lifecycle assessment of paper and plastic that includes a short time in landfill, paper will look worse, because it breaks down more quickly than plastic.  Remember also that there is no renewable energy used in the manufacturing of plastic. Slide 6

7 Responding to misconceptions: carbon footprint cradle to grave is a different story Slide 7

8 What about electronic media?  The amount of electricity to run a computer for only five months could produce enough paper for the average person to use for an entire year  Twenty percent less CO2 is used per year by a person reading a daily printed newspaper versus a person reading web-based news for 30 minutes a day (source: International Paper Slide 8

9 The Stern Review: pixels vs print Source: B Cassell. APIA 2010 Slide 9 AMOUNT OF CO 2 GENERATED Each copy of the STERN REVIEW PRINTED 85 grams maximum An hour reading the STERN REVIEW ON COMPUTER Manufacturing the STERN REVIEW ON CD Just to manufacture the DVD 226 grams each time 300 grams each copy 350 grams each copy

10 It’s time for some positive messaging!  The plastics and electronics industries have been marketing their green credentials very aggressively  It’s time paper companies started to do the same  We have all the green credentials in place Slide 10

11 The power of paper: photosynthesis  Through the process of photosynthesis, trees absorb carbon dioxide and give off oxygen  Forests only contribute to net carbon emissions when biomass is harvested faster than it grows back. A sustainably managed forest is considered to be a net carbon sequester despite the removal of biomass during harvesting  If it were not for the forestry industry worldwide, the CO 2 in our atmosphere would be 5% higher  Paper products ‘lock up’ carbon during their lifetime. Slide 11

12 The power of paper: photosynthesis Slide 12

13 The power of paper: renewability  Wood fibre is an entirely renewable resource. Sappi, for example, plants 1.5 seedlings for every tree harvested Slide 13

14 The power of paper: renewability Slide 14 Most alternatives to paper are derived from non- renewable resources : The average computer contains 40 mined elements which are non-renewable Glass is manufactured from elements like silica which are mined Plastic is generally made from polyethylyne, which is derived from gas and crude oil.

15 The power of paper: biodegradability Slide 15  In sunlight, ordinary plastics do NOT biodegrade  Instead, they photodegrade, a process in which sunlight breaks down plastic into smaller and smaller pieces  It’s estimated it can take up to 1,000 years for a high-density polyethylene plastic bag to break down in the environment (ie not in a landfill)  Glass can take up to 1 million years in the natural environment and two to three times that in a landfill

16 The power of paper: biodegradability Comparison of time taken to biodegrade in the natural environment 2 – 5 months400 – 1 million years Slide 16

17 The power of paper: renewable energy used during manufacturing The burning of fossil fuels releases carbon which has been locked up for millions of years into the atmosphere, introducing ‘new’ carbon HOWEVER Burning renewable fuels – black liquor, sludges and biomass – releases ‘old’ carbon which was stored in the biomass into the atmosphere. This process is considered to be carbon neutral – in other words, there is no net contribution to the global CO 2 concentration Slide 17

18 The power of paper: carbon contained in raw material and use of renewable energy Paper  100% renewable – carbon neutral when burned  40% of energy used during manufacturing derived from renewable resources (paper industry globally) Other (glass, metal, plastic)  Not renewable – increases carbon in the atmosphere when burned  0% of energy used during manufacturing derived from renewable resources Slide 18

19 The power of paper: renewability, recyclability and biodegradability Paper  100% renewable – carbon neutral when burned  100% recyclable, 58% recycling rate for paper in South Africa  Biodegrades without harming soil, water or marine life Other (glass, metal, plastic)  0% renewable, derived from finite resources  Recycling rate for plastic and glass in South Africa approximately 24% for both  Neither plastic nor glass biodegrade readily. When plastic biodegrades, the impact on soil, water and marine life can be very damaging Slide 19

20 Get the message out there! We need to persuade consumers that paper is the responsible choice and that they should choose paper because:  Paper from reputable paper companies originates from sustainably managed forests  Paper is made from a renewable resource, is biodegradable and easily recycled  A large portion of the energy used in the manufacture of pulp and paper is renewable  Contrary to popular belief, paper’s carbon footprint is lower than plastic or pixels Slide 20

21 We are in a sustainable business – let’s sell that! “Public recognition is needed of the fact that harvesting trees does not add to CO2 emissions – that the carbon remains in harvested wood products. Investments, environmental values, public opinion, new business opportunities – all these will help society survive today’s perfect storm. The forest industries are in a better position than most.” Teresa Presas, Managing Director Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) “There aren’t many industries around than can aspire to becoming genuinely sustainable. The pulp and paper industry, however, is one of them. It is inherently sustainable.” Jonathan Porrit, Chairman UK Sustainability Commission Slide 21

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