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Print is great and recycled paper makes it even better

Print is great and recycled paper makes it even better
Renée Yardley
April 27, 2018

At Rolland, we find that reading on paper helps with comprehension and to more deeply understand complex content. It turns out we are not alone. A full 88 per cent of people aged 18 to 65-plus believe they achieve greater understanding when reading on paper, according to a survey published by Two Sides.

Among marketing and communications professionals, the longstanding consensus is that paper and digital communications are complementary, with distinct strengths. And the strong point of sustainably-manufactured paper is its low environmental impact, which may be a surprise to some in this digital era. 

At Rolland, we insist on maintaining the smallest possible environmental footprint by manufacturing commercial papers with up to 100 per cent recycled content and using biogas to power 93 per cent of our mill operations. Using recycled paper can have a positive impact on the environment, even when compared with fully paperless offices

While we do rely on the unbeatable speed and immediacy of digital communications for the reach and frequency every organization covets, we also know printed documents underlie the deeper engagement everyone craves, and that recycled papers contribute to the cleaner environment everyone deserves. 

Recycled paper benefits consumers and profitability, as well as the environment  

Some of Rolland’s customers, like Patagonia, have attested to the merits of using recycled papers.  As a part of their sustainable supply chain, Rolland’s recycled paper has helped Patagonia to communicate with customers, while living up to its commitment to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis. 

Aside from benefiting customers, using paper made from recycled fiber can also benefit companies’ bottom lines. McDonald’s ambitious 2025 goal of making recycling available at all locations also includes an aim to source all packaging from recycled, renewable or certified sources (e.g. Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), which promotes responsible management of the world’s forests). The Financial Post quoted Tom Murray of the Environmental Defense Fund, a partner in the project, as saying such initiatives are good for the environment and the bottom line: “When McDonald’s began their waste reduction efforts nearly 30 years ago, the business and environmental benefits were immediate: the company saved an estimated US$6 million a year.”

Using recycled paper as a gateway to sustainability 

Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of Canopy, a non-profit dedicated to protecting forests and creating sustainable supply chains, said in one of our Conversations with Green Champions: “Large corporate paper customers want to see solutions, and to contribute to forest conservation and climate solutions…”

Recycled paper can be a gateway to sustainability for businesses. Printing on recycled paper rather than virgin paper eliminates the resource utilization and environmental impacts related to forestry, landfilling waste paper, and the production of paper from virgin pulp. The latter is also more water intensive than the production of deinked recycled fiber. In addition to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills, recycling paper also cuts the production of landfill methane from decomposing waste, a major contributor to climate change. This alone has avoided the creation of more than 20 million metric tons of CO2 equivalents a year in the United States (2014 figure for the American Forest & Paper Association, representing most of the industry).