THE MYTH:

Paper production is a major cause of global greenhouse gas emissions

THE FACT:

Most of the energy used is renewable and carbon intensity is surprisingly low

Renewable Energy

Most of the energy used is renewable and carbon intensity is surprisingly low

The paper, pulp and print sector is one of the lowest industrial emitters of greenhouse gasses, accounting for 1% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Ecofys, 2013

The European pulp and paper industry produces original bio-based products using wood, a renewable material. It is also the biggest single industrial user and producer of renewable energy in the EU: 56% of the industry’s total primary annual energy consumption is biomass-based. 

And the industry has the potential to do even more in the future. It has the experience, technology and supply chain to play a big part in the bioeconomy and to do so in a resource-efficient manner.2

The CO2 emissions of the European pulp and paper industry reduced by 22% between 2005 and 2013.
CEPI Key Statistics, 2014

The Pulp, Paper and Print sector is one of the lowest industrial greenhouse gas emitters. 
Manufacturing industries account for 29% of global greenhouse gas emissions: 

Non-metallic minerals 6.0%
Iron and steel 4.8%
Chemical & petrochemical 4.3%
Non-ferrous metals 1.4%
Food & tobacco 1.1%
Pulp, Paper and Print 1.0%
Other industries 10.5%

Ecofys, 2013

The environmental impact of our personal paper consumption may not be as high as you think either.

In Europe, we each use 156 kg of paper every year.i The production of this amount of paper produces 100 kg of CO2ii which is equivalent to driving 500 miles in the average European car.iii

By buying paper from sustainably managed forests and always recycling, we really do not have to feel guilty about using this natural and renewable product. 


2CEPI Sustainability Report, 2013

i The Swedish Forest Industries, 2013
ii EURO-GRAPH Statistic
iii European Commission, 2015