Paper Profile is a voluntary environmental product declaration scheme developed and provided by leading paper producers. This single-page declaration gives essential information regarding the composition of the product, key environmental parameters, environmental management and wood procurement.
Committed to minimising impact
The pulp and paper manufacturers who participate in Paper Profile are committed to minimise the environmental impact of their activities. Measures taken include significant improvements in the production process as well as emission control to air and water. Biofuels are to a large extent used for energy in the production process.
Uniform environmental reporting
The key idea behind Paper Profile is to provide paper buyers with relevant and uniform environmental information, enabling more conscious choices. The pulp and paper industry has a long tradition of open environmental reporting to national authorities and other stakeholders. In today’s increasingly internationalised paper market, this requires a uniform approach to reporting variables and measuring principles. To a large extent, these are also strictly regulated by national and international environmental bodies.
Limits of comparability
Environmental matters are complex and specific figures can not always be compared without taking other environmental aspects into account on a larger scale e.g. site specific considerations. Furthermore, different paper manufacturing processes have different environmental impacts and therefore cannot always be directly compared.
Environmental management systems
Environmental management systems are useful tools which ensure a systematic approach to environmental monitoring and continual improvement. They are today regarded as integral to overall business performance. The certified environmental management systems used by participants in the Paper Profile programme are the ISO 14001 standard and/or the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), which is regulated by the European Union. Both systems cover organisational procedures, procurement, product development, production and distribution. They include both the current status and methods for continuous improvement. In this way, company management can systematically monitor environmental performance, initiate early corrective action, keep track of actions taken and document results.
Sustainability and preservation of biodiversity
Environmentally-conscious forest industry companies continually strive to ensure sustainability and the preservation of biodiversity. Forest certification is a tool to guarantee that the wood used for pulp and paper production originates from sustainably managed forests and legal sources. Currently, the most widely used forest certification systems are the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC™) and the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC-ID). The paper industry uses both systems equally.
The composition of the paper is declared in a standardised Paper Profile graph. The main raw material used in pulp and paper production is wood fibres, originating from own forests or purchased from external sources. Varying amounts of binders, pigments and fillers are also used to provide the required paper characteristics.
Depending on the required paper properties, paper is produced from fresh fibres (chemical and/or mechanical pulp) and/or recycled fibres (deinked pulp). The terms used for the respective pulping method refer to how the wood fibres are separated.
Pigments and fillers (usually chalk or clay) are used to enhance the print properties and other key parameters. Binders are added to the pulp to join the fillers and pigments to each other and to fibres. Binders also prevent dusting, a phenomenon that can cause significant disturbance in today’s sophisticated office and printing systems.
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