Paper and packaging products are highly visible to consumers as they impact on their everyday life, from cereal packets, perfume packaging, magazines through to direct mail and general office use as well as commercial communications. Developing and implementing a Corporate Procurement Policy is one way that an organisation can contribute to the development and implementation of environmental solutions in the wood-based products sector.
Recognising the need for responsible corporate procurement policies, the print, paper and packaging sectors are increasingly developing sector–specific standards and schemes designed to improve corporate environmental procurement. The following are some examples.
The Two Sides campaign is an initiative set up by companies in the graphic communications supply chain, including forestry, pulp, paper, publishing and printing.
The direct marketing industry and Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have introduced an industry initiative designed to improve the environmental impact of direct mail. The PAS:2020 standard, launched in 2009, demonstrates a commitment to good practice in direct mail.
PAS:2020 establishes a set of environmental objectives, performance levels and indicators for environmental impacts of a direct marketing campaign. For paper stocks, PAS:2020 recommends both certified virgin fibre (PEFC and FSC) and recycled should be considered equally credible when drawing up corporate paper procurement policies.
The standard, commissioned by the Direct Marketing Association, IBSA (advertising trade body) and Royal Mail, was developed by British Standards Institution (BSI).
Royal Mail Sustainable Mail Standard
As a key part of its environmental policy, Royal Mail, has developed a standard for responsible mailing, Sustainable Mail.
To qualify for the scheme, organisations must comply with a number of criteria including use of recycled content or paper certified to a credible certification scheme.
The Sustainable Mail standard is closely aligned to PAS 2020. Meeting the new standard enables companies using direct mail in their marketing mix to demonstrate their commitment to recycling, sustainability and waste reduction as well as helping to improve their overall corporate environmental performance.
Virgin fibre certified to a certification scheme approved by Defra's Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) such as PEFC is considered an environmentally-friendly option as it contributes to a reduction in carbon in the atmosphere and is readily renewable. There are also limits to the amount of recycled paper available since paper cannot be recycled indefinitely.
Data Publishers Association – Code of Practice
The Data Publishers Association (DPA) is the industry body representing data and directory publishers in the UK.
In 2009, it introduced a Code Practice which sets requirements for managing the environmental impact of ‘Business to Consumer’ (B2C) printed directory production and distribution.
KCOM Group PLC, Thomson Directories Ltd and Yell UK have signed up to the Code of Practice to ensure that the paper used in directory production is sourced from sustainably managed forests, certified to independent forestry certification schemes such as PEFC and FSC.
Envirowise/BPIF Green Printer Guide
In 2009, Envirowise launched the Green Printer Guide, which assists print companies in identifying areas in which they can make the most effective environmental improvements.
The Guide, produced in association with the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF), highlights the role of paper for the overall environmental impact of printed products. It advises “Green Printers” to be well informed on the relative environmental merits of different papers as to advise customers. It also provides an overview of chain of custody requirements for both PEFC and FSC.