Looking at recycled paper benefits. Hands up who saw this article ?
According to this research ‘one football pitch of forest was lost every second in 2017’ !!!
Worrying I think we all agree. Okay, so paper isn’t wholly responsible for global deforestation, but it contributes to it for sure. Enough for us to be continually bothered about it.
We sell paper, it’s our livelihood, and if we don’t others will continue to do so. But the way we see it, isn’t it better to have a B Corp selling it. A company that is willing to push the boundaries and look to drive meaningful and sustainable organisational change? After all as the only B Corp certified office products dealer in Europe, the pressure is on us to move things along.
Environmental scores in the BIA are a hot topic this month, so now seems a good time to introduce some work that we have been doing and the launch of our new campaign #fightbrightwhite. We are trying to raise awareness about the environmental impact of paper production. Even if it just gets people to stop and think. Perhaps this is not such an issue within the B Corp community where companies are conscious about their impact, but outside of this it’s horrendous.
Why is it still ok to have a price motivated race to the bottom on a commodity product like paper. Without any regard for its raw source?
Ok yes, paper is made from a natural and renewable raw material. But even in the sustainable production of paper made from farmed trees, valuable land is lost, and it requires enormous energy for these trees to be harvested. It’s also worth mentioning that trees reach their most productive stage of carbon storage at about 10 years. So to simply replace one tree by planting another doesn’t compensate for this release of carbon into the atmosphere.
Cutting wild trees for paper production presents more obvious issues, including destruction of habitats and loss of biodiversity to name a few.
The current market
As you are all probably aware paper prices are increasing. Globally, there is a reduction in paper sales as more organisations go digital, and also a rising demand for pulp to be used for tissue and janitorial products in developing countries. So we must future proof ourselves and look for environmentally friendly alternatives that are aligned with how we should be living as residents on this wonderful planet.
What are the current paper options?
Traditional recycled paper – This is a sustainable choice however environmentally harmful bleaching agents are often used to satisfy our craving for bright white paper. The recycled content is generally just paper too, which comes from virgin pulp. People who like the idea might be willing to make the shift, but in our experience most buyers back off from using recycled paper as it is conventionally more expensive.
FSC paper The Forest Stewardship council aims to protect global forests by overseeing timber production and improving standards. Although FSC paper is still is responsible for the loss of trees, timber is tracked and inspected from pulp to production to ensure sustainable management. In the corporate world businesses should take responsibility for their supply chain and only use this paper.
White wrap paper As per our environmental policy Red-Inc refuse to sell any white wrap paper. Unsustainable pulp and paper operations are responsible for the destruction of forests with high conservation importance, illegal harvesting, human rights conflicts, and unsustainable plantation development. Yes cheap, but at what cost!
Most paper comes from Indonesia and Malaysia – so has a big footprint before we even start.
What are Red-Inc doing?
In a nutshell we are looking to shift the mindset that paper must be bright white and introduce a product that fits in terms of price, colour, real environmental benefit and a suitability for the commercial world.
For the past year Red-Inc have been working hard to deliver a truly sustainable alternative to pulp paper and we have succeeded – well, minus any sales and the national uptake – but that’s the next challenge!
This means the best paper in the market at the most competitive price to our clients.
Our paper Steinbeis Evolution White paper is a revolution in the paper market.
Is this actually new?
No not at all, but it has just never had any traction as no one wants to lead on it. This is because cost and colour are hard objectives to overcome in the industry. Ownership is easily passed to another party and responsibility can always be shifted to the be the “clients choice”. Ultimately this won’t happen organically unless you care enough to take time to educate and demonstrate facts and benefits.
Honestly speaking most companies just want to box shift. Make money and avoid any conflict with clients whilst holding no responsibility for their actions as a business.
So all we need is just need a small shift in mindset to except paper not being so bright white and for people to adapt their processes and behaviours to match.
What are the recycled paper benefits ?
The same price as pulp paper – potentially cheaper long term as not reliant on pulp.
Steinbeis Evolution White paper
- High whiteness (CIE 135)
- ZERO chemicals / bleach
- Uses post consumer waste
- EU Ecolabel
- Blue angel accredited
- A Cradle to cradle product
- Supported by the WWF
- 100% less trees
- 72% less electricity
- 83% less water
- 53% less emissions in its production
- 99.98% runnability (paper jam free)
In collaboration with various partners, we are looking to build a program around planting and protecting forests when we cant move clients to recycled paper. Its early days on this but we are out the traps and ready to go on various projects. Read about them here.
We don’t expect everyone to be as excited as we are over this – we get our place. Nor do we expect you all to go out and only buy and use recycled paper. But let’s try and make a small shift. Perhaps introduce some recycled paper to your procurement plans with a longer term goal of a more substantial change.
We will report on our developments and results as they unfold. Our personal aim is to completely reverse our current paper sales from virgin pulp paper to recycled over the next year. If we do this could be ground breaking for our industry.
The questions is… Are you able to accept a realistic shift to slightly less bright white paper at the same price if the environmental benefits out way the ‘slight shade’ variable? If so perhaps Steinbeis Evolution White paper could be the key for you.
We will use this campaign to promote B corps and promote a change for better business.