IP Says Paper is Greener than Computers

by | Jun 25, 2009

ipbrochure1International Paper has added a new brochure to its Down to Earth environmental series, “Pixels vs. Paper: Are pixels greener than paper?” which takes the stance that paper is friendlier to the environment than electronic devices.

Some of IP’s key findings in the comparison between paper and computers include:

– The amount of electricity to run a computer for only five months could produce enough paper for the average person to use for an entire year.

– Twenty percent less CO2 is used per year by a person reading a daily printed newspaper versus a person reading web-based news for 30 minutes a day.

– Paper is biodegradable and nearly 60 percent of all paper in the U.S. is recycled.

– Only 18 percent of all electronic devices are currently recycled and e-waste constitutes the single largest waste export in the U.S.

– Paper comes from a renewable and sustainable source — trees, while electronic devices are typically made of plastics and other non-renewable resources and chemicals and metals. IP says every day the paper and forest products industry plants more than three times the number of trees than are harvested.

IP could have a tough sell on its hands. Research from DMNews and Pitney Bowes, for example, has found that 48 percent of the U.S. population believe that mail is half of the content in the nation’s landfills. Mail, according to the report, actually makes up two percent of the nation’s municipal waste.

So while direct marketers and those working in other paper-intensive industries might be convinced on the “paper vs pixels” debate, consumer perception, which, in the case of marketing, dictates whether a company will ultimately choose paper or pixels, could lag behind.

    International Paper also has expanded its Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain-of-Custody certification to include a majority of its U.S. pulp and paper mills and a number of converting facilities across its businesses. IP says the increase establishes the company as having the largest FSC manufacturing platform across the globe.

    IP’s FSC Chain-of-Custody certification worldwide now includes: three coated paperboard mills and its six converting facilities; four pulp operations; six industrial packaging mills; seven printing papers mills and its sheeting operations; and a number of manufacturing facilities associated with its foodservice and Shorewood businesses.

    Chain-of-Custody certification guarantees that wood coming from certified and responsibly managed forestlands is tracked throughout the supply chain, from the forest to the consumer.

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