Experts explain how to lighten your footprint with certified and recycled options
Part of the problem is we’re not recovering all the paper produced. Another challenge is the fact that fibres can be reused only so many times before they start to break down, added Aboriginal Printing’s Bolduc.
“It’s financially impractical and engineering-wise, it doesn’t work with a lot of the manufacturing processes. You can’t expect that type of fibre to withstand [repeated] production processes.”
Yet, recycled content is usually first on the request list from buyers new to sustainability, said Karyne Bouchard, paper supply co-ordinator at printing, publishing and marketing company Transcontinental Inc in St-Laurent, Quebec. She ensures suppliers are complying with Transcontinental’s inclusive procurement policy.
“Normally, when customers [start] they only want recycled. Then we have to give them some options and talk about certified content too,” she said. Plus, “there are projects where if you want 100 percent recycled paper you’ll have to change your design.”
Bouchard tries to help customers understand how certification fits in. She also guides them on the projects most suited to recycled content.
“I’m trying to use my energy in the right battles because I don’t see the necessity of having 100 percent recycled content in coated paper. It doesn’t make sense to me. I would rather push the supplier for recycled content in newspapers.”
Bouchard is educating her company’s sales force and customers and working with suppliers to access more sustainable paper. Instead of waiting for customers to ask about responsible options, she’s taking a proactive approach by bringing the ideas forward.
Jean Jette knows all about educating the customer. As marketing manager for Irving Consumer Products, Jette has been busy promoting sustainable paper products to companies such as Walmart and Loblaw. Though sustainability has taken off at warp speed, it’s old news to Jette.
“I think I’m the senior citizen of the group aren’t I?” he quipped. “I happened to luck out in my career [by working] with Mr Irving, our founder, who started reforesting back in the 1950s. He had a specific reason; he wanted trees for his grandkids. We had a forest and we wanted to manage it appropriately.”
Irving has developed a website to help educate customers about its sustainable forestry practices, he said. “We manage the forest and we tell our customers how we’re doing it.”