WWF announced on 31st January that they have “launched a global benchmarking tool for pulp and paper products”; called Check Your Paper, the tool is an online database to help paper buyers find products with the lowest environmental impact.
The database rates the environmental quality of the paper-making process for a given product, including:
- how well forests supplying fibre are managed;
- use of recycled fibre;
- fossil fuel CO2 emissions;
- waste going to landfills; and
- water pollution from mills.
Paper products posted on the list have been audited by third-party certification bodies to ensure high credibility. At the moment, there are 100 paper products with “good” or “excellent” environmental score listed in the coated and uncoated categories, such as copy papers and printing and writing papers.
To achieve the maximum five star rating in WWF’s Check Your Paper, a paper product must have:
- positive impacts on forests and contain high proportions of post-consumer recycled fibre and/or virgin fibre originating from credibly certified, well managed forests;
- reduced contributions to climate change through use of recycled fibre, responsible forest management and minimising CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in the manufacturing process, and, indirectly, emissions of CO2 and methane from degrading waste in landfills; and
- close to zero water pollution through reduction of organic water pollution and reduced water pollution from bleaching, through promotion of unbleached or totally chlorine-free bleached products.