Work Smarter: Your Guide to Paper and Sustainability

1000 paper cranes

With consumers’ growing awareness of sustainability issues, manufacturers have sharpened their focus on delivering products and services that deliver social, economic and environmental sustainability value. But it might surprise you to know that these values have been a part of the paper industry for decades, and that paper companies have consistently led the way toward greater transparency and accountability when it comes to sustainability.

In general, paper is recyclable and derived from renewable resources. In many countries worldwide, paper enjoys a 60 to 70 percent recovery rate, the best among all recyclable materials – the U.S. is slightly above average at just over 63 percent. Thanks to responsible forestry management practices and standards, there are actually more trees in the U.S. today than there were 50 years ago.

With the recent Colorado wildfires top of mind for many readers, it might surprise you to learn that the total forest area consumed by wildfire each year has fallen more than 90 percent since 1900, partly due to a more responsible timber industry. Where other industries have been playing catch-up in their drive toward more sustainable business practices, the paper industry has long been on the leading edge of more thoughtful production, use and recovery of paper products.

In this series of articles, we will look at the life cycle of office paper and how – at every stage of the production, distribution and recovery process – sustainability is a top priority. From forest management practices and certification to responsible use and office recovery, the journey of a sheet of paper is filled with “choices”.

During the next several weeks, TriplePundit will share news and insights as we explore paper as a responsible medium for communication, with help from third-party experts who have spent decades researching and/or implementing sustainability-minded business practices throughout the paper industry.

If you have questions or comments about sustainability and paper, please share them in the comments field below or email our editors at choices@boiseinc.com. This series was developed in partnership with CHOICES – An Environment for Good Ideas™ brought to you by Boise®. Click here to learn more about CHOICES.

[Image credit: Kevin H, Flickr]