Highlights ways to reduce cost and impact through use and buying
TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - Each office worker in North America consumes
an average 10,000 sheets of paper annually, yet there are simple and
unexpected ways to reduce this number while benefiting the environment
and bottom line. These findings are cited in a Green Paper Report released on the eve of Earth Day 2011 by CivicAction's Greening Greater Toronto.
Through research and consultation with industry and private and public
sector purchasing experts, the report: dispels the common notion that
certified and recycled paper are necessarily more expensive then virgin
paper; sheds light on ways organizations can reduce paper use while
saving money; and highlights how organizations can ensure waste paper—a
valuable and demanded resource—does not enter landfills.
Here are six key opportunities to change paper purchasing and use:
Use Less Paper: The most effective way to reduce the environmental impact of paper
purchasing is to simply use less paper. Replacing single-use printers
with multi-function devices and moving to digital processes and default
double-sided printing are key ways to reduce paper use and costs.
Purchase Certified Paper: Using paper that has been certified under a particular brand or
standard guarantees that it contains raw fibre harvested using
environmentally sustainable forestry practices. For large orders, there
is no significant price premium, and it offers significant value with
Understand Recycled Content and Purchase Judiciously: Buying recycled paper is good for the environment, and the price of
paper that has up to 30 per cent recycled content does not
significantly exceed virgin paper prices. However, not all recycled
paper products are equal when it comes to environmental impact. Give
priority to recycled products made through more efficient and less
energy- and chemical-intensive recycling processes.
Recycle and Recycle Carefully: There is a huge opportunity for organizations to increase their paper
recycling rates. The report cites that less than half of paper and
cardboard products disposed of by North America's institutional,
commercial and industrial sector are recycled - compared to over sixty
per cent in the UK - and most ends up in landfills. By recycling paper,
fibre is reused to make products or can be incinerated to produce
energy rather than entering landfills. Increased recycling, carefully
separating fine copy paper from other paper products, employee
engagement programs, and closed-loop recycling can significantly reduce
an organization's environmental footprint.
Apply Criteria Comprehensively: To maximize impact, organizations should aim to apply their paper
policies across all departments and locations. Look at the full scope
of paper products—from copy paper, to envelopes and cardboard boxes—to
get the most out of greening efforts.
Look Beyond the Paper to the Producer: Paper is only as green as the company that produces and transports it.
Manufacturing processes and distribution practices can make a big
difference to the overall environmental impact of a paper product.
Factors to consider include: the distance the paper has travelled from
its original source, the emission levels of transportation fleets to
deliver the paper, the efficiency of paper mills, and environmental
practices of all the companies involved in bringing the paper to its
"This is a huge opportunity for action, and can really boost an
organization's sustainability," said Linda Weichel, Managing Director,
Greening Greater Toronto. "The Green Paper Report shows how people and
organizations can reduce their environmental impact and costs by
changing how they purchase, use and dispose of their paper products."
The Green Paper Report was developed in collaboration with members of
the Green Paper Action Group, formed by Greening Greater Toronto's
Green Procurement Leadership Council.
Greening Greater Toronto's Green Procurement Initiative has been
supported by the Conservation Fund of the Ontario Power Authority,
which provides support for new and innovative electricity conservation
initiatives that build the ability of Ontario's residents, businesses,
and institutions to reduce their demand for electricity.
About Greening Greater Toronto:
Greening Greater Toronto (www.greeninggreatertoronto.ca) is an initiative of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (www.civicaction.ca), a multi-sectoral coalition of thousands of civic leaders committed to
acting collectively to tackle tough issues and big opportunities facing
the Toronto region. More than 200 partners from corporations,
government, and the non-profit sector have joined the Greening Greater
Toronto initiative and support the vision of a flourishing region
renowned for its environmental action and innovation.
For further information:
Communications and Events Officer, CivicAction
(416) 992-4966 (cell)
(416) 309-4480 x509 (work)