Our Industry's 'Green' Suppliers
While many publishers are taking big steps to improve their environmental impact, so are a number of suppliers. In fact, some recent developments have been especially notable.
Cascades invests $2 million to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions
Cascades Fine Papers Group, for example, has been the official paper supplier for printed Earth Day messages in Quebec and Canada for several years. Cascades produces papers that contain an average of 30-percent post-consumer-waste (PCW) recycled fiber. Its management has long taken into account the importance of the environment and made significant efforts toward minimizing the company's ecological impact.
Recently, however, the company has taken these efforts to a new level. It has announced the completion of a $2 million project to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Through a partnership with Intersan, a subsidiary of Waste Management of Canada (a provider of comprehensive waste management services), and Gaz Métro, one of Canada's largest natural gas distributors, the project will enable the transformation of greenhouse gases into a usable source of energy.
According to Cascades, the capture and combustion of landfill gas will produce results equivalent to removing approximately 120,000 cars from the road annually.
Cascades also offers a variety of coated and uncoated PCW papers for book publishers.
Other paper mills and distributors have also taken big strides. Domtar offers a cover and book jacket stock with 10-percent PCW, and Westminster Opaque is a high-end paper that is commonly used for religious texts, financial documents, reference books and textbooks. It contains up to 20-percent PCW content.
Domtar Westminster Tradebook is produced in the most popular basis weights and in six finishes, and it can be made with 20-percent PCW content and is available FSC-certified.
Domtar Westminster Coated Cover is a sheet used primarily as a cover for paperback and soft cover books and is manufactured with 15-percent PCW content.
Domtar's EarthCote coated and uncoated papers are certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and contain 30-percent PCW.
New Leaf's Mission Possible
No article on the leaders of environmental sustainability efforts in the publishing industry would be complete without some mention of New Leaf Paper. New Leaf not only offers eco-papers, but its mission is to "be the leading national source for environmentally responsible, economically sound paper." It also aims to inspire environmental responsibility in the paper industry.
It produces paper using high post-consumer recycled content, and most of its papers are whitened without chlorine or chlorine compounds. It offers coated grades, opaque papers, offset papers Its book publication papers are among the most eco-friendly papers available. Its EcoBook 100 features 100-percent PCW, and is processed chlorine free, and its EcoBook 60 is 90-percent recycled, 60-percent PCW and 10-percent FSC-certified virgin fiber. It is also elemental chlorine free. New Leaf EcoBook can be manufactured and shipped in two to three weeks (with a 40,000 lb. minimum order).
Unisource Receives SmartWood Certification
Unisource, a privately held paper distributor, recently earned certification for its largest fine paper division (in Addison, Ill.) by the Rainforest Alliance Certification, a certification program accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council. The certification program, called SmartWood, recognizes Unisource for offering paper that comes from forests managed to protect wildlife habitat and invigorate communities.
Unisource-Addison purchases paper from mills including Domtar, Neenah Paper, Mohawk, and Finch Pruyn, whose pulp comes from forests that meet the FSC's rigorous standards for environmental and social responsibility. SmartWood/FSC "chain-of-custody" certification tracks paper all along the supply chain, from the forests to the retailer, ensuring that it is produced in accordance with strict criteria.
According to Unisource, its corporate headquarters are also interested in pursuing FSC-certification across its divisions.
"Interest in environmentally friendly offerings from North American paper producers and suppliers has grown substantially over the past six to 12 months," says Dave Bubser, SmartWood's U.S. regional manager.
Solvent-Free Cover Materials
Solvents used in coating materials can also have a negative impact on the environment. Ecological Fibers decided almost 20 years ago to alter its use of solvents, and today it's a world leader in supplying environmentally sound, 100-percent solvent-free cover materials to the book, decorative packaging, photo mount, and CD/multimedia packaging industries.
Under the trade name Rainbow, the company offers paper-based cover materials and bindery supplies. "It is our belief that using solvent-free coating technology offers a higher quality, more economical product, in a safe and responsible manner," says Steven Quill, Ecological Fibers' president.
In 1994, Ecological Fibers won an Earth Day Award for its efforts.
"If you're doing something and you think there's a better way, I think it's irresponsible not to change what you're doing," says Steven Quill, Ecological Fibers president/founder.
Ecological Fibers' papers are made with either pre-consumer or post-consumer waste, up to 75 percent in end leaf products. "Instead of taking the trim and waste and putting it into a landfill, we use it," Quill explains. "It's important to me to be efficient, too. If you're taking one ton a week to the dump, it costs money. So, it saves money to reuse it, and it also is environmentally sound."
There are a number of book paper providers who offer paper grades made from PCR fiber, or papers that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as meeting the highest sustainability criteria, chlorine-free or otherwise environmentally friendly. And, the choice for publishers is certainly growing.
Coated and uncoated grades are available, as are freesheets, coverstocks and paperboard. Many are immediately available in large quantities. (Some papers may have to be purchased through distributors.)
The companies who currently provide environmental book papers are:
Monadnock Paper Mills
New Leaf Paper
Nexfor Fraser Papers Inc.
Tembec Paperboard Group
Vision Paper/KP Products
Visit the Green Press Initiative's Web site at http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/ for an updated list of available environmental book papers.