Torstar Sets Paper Policy, But No Ban on Controversial Fiber

by | Apr 2, 2013

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Harlequin romance novels and Toronto Star parent company Torstar has adopted paper procurement principles that it says will eliminate the use of fiber from ancient and endangered forests — but it doesn’t set any target deadlines or percentages.

The policy says Torstar will not knowingly purchase paper derived from illegally harvested sources. In addition to Harlequin and The Toronto Star, the principles will apply to more than 125 daily and weekly newspapers published by the Star Media Group and Metroland Media.

The company recognizes various forest certification systems with Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC) as the target standard, the document says. The policy says Torstar sees post-consumer recycled fiber content as a valuable means of preserving forests and may give preference to suppliers that use post-consumer fiber content.

The policy also says Torstar will encourage its suppliers to increase protection of high conservation value forests and eliminate the use of fiber from ancient and endangered forests. The company will also give preference to suppliers that use sustainable forest management practices and strive to limit their impact on intact forests and forests representing habitat for threatened species, the policy says.

The document says Torstar will meet regularly with its key suppliers to review their environmental performance and discuss its paper procurement practices.

The policy, however, does not set numerical targets or deadlines for the elimination of wood fiber in its paper from high conservation value forests, and doesn’t explicitly ban paper from controversial sources.

Canopy, an independent environmental nonprofit that works with more than 700 forest product customer companies, advised Torstar on its paper procurement policy, the company says.

In March, Avery Dennison published a company-wide responsible paper procurement policy that the company says encourages sustainable paper sourcing and procurement. It also didn’t set any target deadlines or percentages.

National Geographic is considering using recycled paper for its publications, following a study published last month that found using recovered fiber in place of virgin fiber for magazine paper has a benefit in 14 of 14 environmental impact categories.



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