Environmental Benefits of 100% PCW Recycled Coated Paper
“Though all paper production has an environmental impact, this study clearly shows that recycled papers are better for forests, species, freshwater systems and the climate,” observed Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director of international environmental organization Canopy. “This Life Cycle Analysis equips customer companies with all they need to be able to choose the best ecopapers to meet their sustainability goals.”
The LCA reveals significant differences in the impact of 2,500 tons of New Leaf Reincarnation paper versus virgin coated paper. Key findings include:
- Has less than one percent of the impact in terms of Global Climate Change and Ocean Acidification,
- Avoids impacts from logging on more than 100 endangered species,
- Uses one quarter of the water used to manufacture virgin coated paper,
- Has no impacts on rivers or wetlands from recurring logging of large forest tracts, and
- Avoids harvesting of at least 12,000 acres of multiple forest types.
“Having waited a lot time for a rigorous, holistic LCA standard, we immediately requested a full LCA for New Leaf Reincarnation, our 100 percent post-consumer recycled coated paper, along with LCAs for comparable virgin coated papers produced at three North American mills,” said Jeff Mendelsohn, founder of New Leaf Paper.
“New Leaf is proud to be driving transparency in the paper supply chain by commissioning this study featuring new methodology,” Mendelsohn added. “This study considers the full range of impacts and benefits, including incorporating the latest findings in climate science. It is a comprehensive and fair comparative analysis that sets a new baseline for future LCAs.”
Canopy and New Leaf Paper have collaborated together for years to bring leading-edge ecopapers to market including their work on the 100 percent recycled paper that made the North American edition(s) of the Harry Potter book series a groundbreaker in green book publication.
The study comes in the midst of a sustained push by numerous forest industry players to promote virgin fiber papers and undermine customers’ perceptions of recycled papers.
“The study’s findings reinforce the importance of improving North America’s paper recycling system,” commented Canopy’s Rycroft. “Given the superior ecological qualities of recycled paper, it is imperative that we bolster North American recycled paper production by curtailing recycled fiber exports and improving the quality of recovered fiber available to mills.”
The LCA was conducted by SCS based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The study methodology is consistent with the international LCA standard (ISO-14044), and used the detailed assessment methods described in the draft national LCA standard (LEO-SCS-002) developed to support comparative public claims and currently in the final stages of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation process to become a new national standard.