The Myth: Making Paper Uses A Lot Of Non-Renewable Energy And Has A High Carbon Footprint
With 1.1% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, the pulp, paper and print is one of the lowest industrial emitters.
World Resources Institute, 2013
The European Paper Industry has reduced the CO2 emissions per tonne of paper produced by 40% since 1990.
Cepi Sustainability Report, 2011, Page 41
On average it takes 500 kilowatt hours (Kwh) to produce 200kg of paper; the average consumption per head in Europe. This is comparable to driving an average family car 600 miles (6).
The paper industry is the biggest user of renewable, low carbon energy and 54% (5) of the energy used in European paper making is biomass based - more than in any other sector.
Recyclable paper is made from wood, a renewable carbon storing resource.
Industry research indicates that mail comprises 0.1% of total household CO2 emissions in Europe. The 14 kg of CO2 emitted is the equivalent of:
Reading a newspaper can consume 20% less carbon than viewing news online.
Swedish Royal Institute for Technology, Moberg et al, 2007, Page 85
And in a multimedia world, responsibly sourced print and paper may be the most sustainable way to communicate.
Alternative media has its own impact too:
(5) Cepi Sustainability Report, 2011, Page 41
(6) Paper and the environment, ATS Consulting, August, 2007
(7) BBC, Costing the earth, Global Warming, April 2009
(8) Google Green, 2013
(9) New York Times, September 2011