Recycled Paper’s Climate Impact 100 Times Lower than Virgin Paper

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by | Oct 12, 2015

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NLP logo Environmental LeaderRecycled papers have less than 1 percent of the impact in terms of global climate change and ocean acidification than virgin paper, according to a new Life Cycle Analysis (LCS) released by New Leaf Paper.

The study, conducted by SCS Global Services (SCS), is the first in the paper industry to use a new LCA standard designed to improve the accuracy, transparency and comparability of LCA analyses.

The study evaluated the impact of 2,500 tons of New Leaf Reincarnation paper (100 percent post-consumer waste recycled coated paper) compared to virgin coated paper and found that recycled papers are better for forests, species, freshwater systems and the climate. Compared to virgin coated paper, the recycled paper uses 75 percent less water, has no impacts on rivers or wetlands from recurring logging of large forest tracts and avoids harvesting of at least 12,000 acres of multiple forest types.

SCS’ study methodology is consistent with the international LCA standard (ISO-14044) and uses the detailed assessment methods described in the draft national LCA standard (LEO-SCS-002) developed to support comparative public claims. The standard is in the final stages of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accreditation process to become a new national standard.

CDP has approved SCS as an accredited US Consultancy Partner. In this capacity, SCS will use its expertise to assist companies in their efforts to disclose their carbon footprint and other climate change data to CDP.

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