Forest Owners Again Tell EPA – Biomass Carbon Accounting Must be Practical

The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) continues to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel to provide recommendations to the EPA that are scientifically sound, practical and reflect the carbon benefits of wood biomass energy.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 20, 2012 – The National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) continues to urge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel to provide recommendations to the EPA that are scientifically sound, practical and reflect the carbon benefits of wood biomass energy. The Panel is conducting a peer review of EPA’s Accounting Framework for Biogenic CO2 Emissions from Stationary Sources. The EPA will use the Panel’s recommendations to assess its ongoing policy for the treatment of greenhouse gas emissions regulations from biomass.

“Last week President Obama reiterated his ‘all of the above’ energy strategy that encourages the expansion of renewable energy sources, like biomass. The most effective way to implement the President’s strategy is to develop a policy that is consistent with how biomass production and use really works both on the ground and in the marketplace. A critical task of the Panel is to develop science-based recommendations that reflect the real world to promote biomass as a viable alternative to fossil fuels,” said Dave Tenny, President and CEO of NAFO, who is speaking before the Panel this afternoon.

“As the Panel members look at alternatives, they should ask at every point along the way if their recommendations can actually be implemented within the modern forestry sector and fully disclose that to the EPA,” Tenny said. “Some of the concepts the Panel is considering involve extremely complex baselines and calculations that are speculative and very difficult and costly to apply. Others impose narrow limitations on timeframes and geographic areas within which carbon is measured. Such approaches can significantly distort what the atmosphere actually sees over time when wood is used for energy and may frustrate rather than inform sound policy.”

“Fortunately, the prevailing science supports a simple and straightforward approach to accounting for biomass carbon emissions that is practical to implement,” Tenny concluded.

NAFO filed detailed comments ahead of the Panel’s March 20 public meeting. NAFO’s comments urge the Panel to apply a national scale for accounting, a 100 year timeframe for measuring the climate impacts of bioenergy, and a baseline using well-established existing data. These comments add further detail to recommendations filed by NAFO on January 25, which identify ways to reduce the complexity of the accounting framework EPA originally presented to the Panel.

###

NAFO is an organization of private forest owners committed to advancing federal policies that promote the economic and environmental benefits of privately-owned forests at the national level. NAFO membership encompasses nearly 80 million acres of private forestland in 47 states. Working forests in the U.S. support 2.5 million jobs. To see the full economic impact of America’s working forests, visit www.nafoalliance.org/economic-impact-report.

SCA, K-C, IP on World’s Most Ethical Companies List

Ethisphere recognizes companies that go beyond the ordinary and demonstrate that business ethics are decisive for a company’s brand and profitability.

SCA, Stockholm, Sweden, and International Paper, Memphis, Tenn., USA,, have
again been named among the world’s most ethical companies by the American
Ethisphere Institute, New York, N.Y., USA. Kimberly-Clark, Dallas, Texas, was
also on this year’s list. Ethisphere recognizes companies that go beyond the
ordinary and demonstrate that business ethics are decisive for a company’s brand
and profitability.

This is IP’s sixth year in a row to be on the list, and the fifth straight
year for SCA. Ethisphere has published the WME rankings for six consecutive
years.

This year, several thousand companies were evaluated from more than 40
industries. The list of nominees for 2012 included a record of 145 companies
that outperform their peer competitors in ethical business practices. A total of
40 companies are headquartered outside of the U.S.

The methodology used to develop WME rankings includes reviewing codes of
ethics, litigation, and regulatory infraction histories, evaluating the
investment in innovation and sustainable business practices, looking at
activities designed to improve corporate citizenship, and studying nominations
from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers, and customers.

“In all of our endeavors around the globe, from safety performance to
environmental stewardship to running our businesses, our actions come down to
one simple principle—doing the right things for the right reason. International
Paper is proud to be recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for
the sixth straight year,” said John Faraci, chairman and CEO of International
Paper.

Jan Johansson, president and CEO of SCA, said that “SCA’s track record in
ethical business practices and sustainability work is a business differentiator
that strengthens our competitive advantage. Our ambitious work in this area
makes us more attractive for customers, consumers, and investors, and also
generates considerable savings. SCA puts sustainability on top of the agenda,
and we are honored by Ethisphere’s recognition of our achievements.”

Tom Falk, chairman and CEO of Kimberly-Clark, said that “we are honored to be
recognized for our ethical business practices. Creating a culture where our
employees are committed to driving business results ethically and doing the
right thing for our customers, our communities, and the environment contributes
directly to the success of our company.”

More information about the award is available here.

Don’t Give Up the Print!

Next time you’re having a conversation with a client about the value of continuing to use print in their media mix, you might want to throw in some data from Harris Interactive.

By  

March 30th, 2012 – Next time you’re having a conversation with a client about the value of continuing to use print in their media mix, you might want to throw in some data from Harris Interactive. Its Harris Poll, conducted of 2056 adults in February 6-13 2012, found that while smartphones could be used to replace many print-related activities, such as carrying airline tickets or using printed coupon, they aren’t.

Only 5% of Americans say that they have scanned their phone for admission to a movie or as an airline ticket, and fewer say they have done so to pay for clothing or electronics (3%), admission to a concert, live theater or performance (3%), to pay for a convenience item such as coffee (3%) or something else (7%). Two in five say they have never scanned their mobile or smart phone for any reason (40%) and slightly more say they do not have a mobile or smart phone with this capability (45%). Although Echo Boomers, aged 18-35, are most likely to have scanned their phone for all of the items listed, even they are not doing this at remarkable rates (between 5% and 10% for each item). [1]

Harris Interactive also asked these adults, not just what behaviors they were willing to engage in with their smartphones, but also their comfort levels with using their phones this way (whether they had actually done so or not). Levels of discomfort using phones for purchases, scanning tickets, and a variety of other activities remains quite high.

When the research firm looked at those who are comfortable with the various items, it noticed several trends:

  • There is comfort in youth – younger adults are more comfortable than those older with each item listed;
  • Men are more comfortable with each item than are women; and
  • Those who have scanned their smart phone for any one of a number of reasons are more comfortable with each capability than are those who have never scanned their phone, or do not have a phone with that technology.

The last one is particularly interesting for those pushing QR Codes and other 2d mobile barcodes, especially to boost the relevance and interest in print. If you can get them to scan the code just once, people are much more likely to continue to do it. That means really focusing on the incentive and call to action, especially the first time out.

McDonald’s Tests Paper Coffee Cups

Burger giant trying out double-walled paper cups

March 22, 2012 – McDonald’s Corp.is testing double-walled paper coffee cups in 2,000 West Coast locations based on pressure from shareholders, new regulations and environmental consumer groups.

Specifically, the California test stems from a shareholder resolution asking McDonald’s to seek alternatives to foam cups and a proposed ban on polystyrene containers in California, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Although unpopular with environmental group, foam cups continue to be widely used in foodservice for coffee because it retains heat so well is lightweight and cost effective.

Meanwhile, environmental groups dislike the material because it is so light and easily blows away and ends up waterways frequently where it can be dangerous to marine life.

Bob Langert, vice president of sustainability at McDonald’s told the Chicago Tribune that McDonald’s has been seeking alternatives to polystyrene for decades, but has not found a material that performs as well, at least not yet.

In 1990, McDonald’s phased out plastic foam clamshells for food and y decreased its packaging by 300 million pounds in the subsequent 10 years, according to the report, and approximately 30 percent of its paper packaging is made from recycled material.

Some groups, however, warm that paper cups are not always superior. “No disposable product is environmentally benign,” said Rob Wallace, a spokesman for Keep America Beautiful, noting that paper cups are made from renewable resources but weigh two to three times more than foam. Importantly, paper cups are not generally recyclable because they are coated with plastic to prevent liquid seepage.

Starbucks Coffee Co., however, is working closely with state and local governments and suppliers to make its paper cups recyclable by the end of 2015.

HP Lightweight Paper Targets 22% Raw Material Reduction

HP Paper Thin will weigh 60 grams per square meter, 15 grams lighter than everyday paper, Business Green reports, resulting in a 22 percent reduction in raw material use.

March 22, 2012 – Hewlett-Packard is introducing a lightweight paper designed to reduce the environmental impact of printing and paper storage by up to 22 percent.

HP Paper Thin will weigh 60 grams per square meter, 15 grams lighter than everyday paper, Business Green reports, resulting in a 22 percent reduction in raw material use.

The reduced weight means that less water and fiber will be used in making the paper, and less fuel will be required to transport it. The product will also need less space to be stored, HP says, according to the web site.

HP Paper Thin will cost the same as regular paper and is due to be launched this spring in North America. A European launch date is penciled in for late 2012 or early 2013, Business Green reports.

To start with, HP is targeting the product at businesses signed up to its managed services program. The paper has not yet been tested on printers made by companies other than HP.

Earlier this month, HP announced that it had achieved a 50 percent improvement in product energy efficiency, exceeding its target.

HP had set a goal to reduce the energy consumption of its products, including printers, monitors and laptops, by 40 percent by the end of 2011, from a 2005 baseline. The company has a goal to cut energy use and GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2013, compared to 2005.

Do E-Books Make It Harder to Remember What You Just Read?

Maia Szalavitz has published an interesting article in Time. She asserts that digital books are lighter and more convenient to tote around than paper books, but there may be advantages to old technology.

I received a Kindle for my birthday, and enjoying “light reading,” in addition to the dense science I read for work, I immediately loaded it with mysteries by my favorite authors. But I soon found that I had difficulty recalling the names of characters from chapter to chapter. At first, I attributed the lapses to a scary reality of getting older — but then I discovered that I didn’t have this problem when I read paperbacks.

When I discussed my quirky recall with friends and colleagues, I found out I wasn’t the only one who suffered from “e-book moments.” Online, I discovered that Google’s Larry Page himself had concerns about research showing that on-screen reading is measurably slower than reading on paper.

This seems like a particularly troubling trend for academia, where digital books are slowly overtaking the heavy tomes I used to lug around. On many levels, e-books seem like better alternatives to textbooks — they can be easily updated and many formats allow readers to interact with the material more, with quizzes, video, audio and other multimedia to reinforce lessons. But some studies suggest that there may be significant advantages in printed books if your goal is to remember what you read long-term.

Kate Garland, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Leicester in England, is one of the few scientists who has studied this question and reviewed the data. She found that when the exact same material is presented in both media, there is no measurable difference in student performance.

However, there are some subtle distinctions that favor print, which may matter in the long run. In one study involving psychology students, the medium did seem to matter. “We bombarded poor psychology students with economics that they didn’t know,” she says. Two differences emerged. First, more repetition was required with computer reading to impart the same information.

Second, the book readers seemed to digest the material more fully. Garland explains that when you recall something, you either “know” it and it just “comes to you” — without necessarily consciously recalling the context in which you learned it — or you “remember” it by cuing yourself about that context and then arriving at the answer. “Knowing” is better because you can recall the important facts faster and seemingly effortlessly.

“What we found was that people on paper started to ‘know’ the material more quickly over the passage of time,” says Garland. “It took longer and [required] more repeated testing to get into that knowing state [with the computer reading, but] eventually the people who did it on the computer caught up with the people who [were reading] on paper.”

Context and landmarks may actually be important to going from “remembering” to “knowing.” The more associations a particular memory can trigger, the more easily it tends to be recalled. Consequently, seemingly irrelevant factors like remembering whether you read something at the top or the bottom of page — or whether it was on the right or left hand side of a two-page spread or near a graphic — can help cement material in mind.
 
Why Remembering Names Is Hard — and What to Do About It

This seems irrelevant at first, but spatial context may be particularly important because evolution may have shaped the mind to easily recall location cues so we can find our way around. That’s why great memorizers since antiquity have used a trick called the “method of loci” to associate facts they want to remember with places in spaces they already know, like rooms in their childhood home. They then visualize themselves wandering sequentially through the rooms, recalling the items as they go.

As neuroscientist Mark Changizi put it in a blog post:

“In nature, information comes with a physical address (and often a temporal one), and one can navigate to and from the address. Those raspberry patches we found last year are over the hill and through the woods — and they are still over the hill and through the woods. And up until the rise of the web, the mechanisms for information storage were largely spatial and could be navigated, thereby tapping into our innate navigation capabilities. Our libraries and books — the real ones, not today’s electronic variety — were supremely navigable.”

E-books, however, provide fewer spatial landmarks than print, especially pared-down versions like the early Kindles, which simply scroll through text and don’t even show page numbers, just the percentage already read. In a sense, the page is infinite and limitless, which can be dizzying. Printed books on the other hand, give us a physical reference point, and part of our recall includes how far along in the book we are, something that’s more challenging to assess on an e-book.

Jakob Nielsen, a Web “usability” expert and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, believes e-reading does lead to a different type of recall. “I really do think we remember less” from e-books, he says. “This is not something I have formally measured, but just based on both studies we’ve done looking at reading behavior on tablets and books and reading from regular computers.”

He says that studies show that smaller screens also make material less memorable. “The bigger the screen, the more people can remember and the smaller, the less they can remember,” he says. “The most dramatic example is reading from mobile phones. [You] lose almost all context.”

Searching by typing or scrolling back is also more distracting than simply turning back pages to return to an important point, he notes. “Human short-term memory is extremely volatile and weak,” says Nielsen. “That’s why there’s a huge benefit from being able to glance [across a page or two] and see [everything] simultaneously. Even though the eye can only see one thing at a time, it moves so fast that for all practical purposes, it can see [the pages] and can interrelate the material and understand it more.”

Flipping through pages is also less mentally taxing. “The more you have to expend your minimal brain power to divert it into these other tasks [like search, the less it is] available for learning.”

This doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for e-text books or computerized courseware, however. Neither Nielsen nor Garland is opposed to using new media for teaching. In fact, both believe that there are many situations in which they can offer real advantages. However, different media have different strengths — and it may be that physical books are best when you want to study complex ideas and concepts that you wish to integrate deeply into your memory. More studies will likely show what material is best suited for learning in a digital format, and what type of lessons best remain in traditional textbooks.

But someone — perhaps the publishing industry? — is going to have to take the initiative and fund them.

Maia Szalavitz is a health writer for TIME.com.

Hard copy vs. soft copy: Is digital storage greener than traditional media?

Reproduced from Climate Action, 2 March 2012, by Alan Bouquet.

“The problem it seems does not lie with the type of media being used, but the sustainability of the processes behind it. An email sent using a low energy highly efficient server will be considerably greener than one on an inefficient server. On the other hand, this applies to physical media as well; paper produced from a sustainably sourced forest, disposed of or recycled mindfully can be carbon neutral or better.”For some time, the general consensus has been that digital storage of information is more sustainable and produces less carbon than a hard copy, in the form of paper, CD’s and tape. How true is this when taking the full life cycle of a document or piece of media into account?

Paper, on the face of it, has a high carbon footprint. The Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment conducted a study on the lifecycle of paper several years ago, which found paper mill emissions contributed around 60 per cent to the overall emissions, with transportation and the final fate of the paper making up the majority of the rest of the emissions. Printing on the paper and forestry were exceedingly small in comparison. In paper production just over a ton of carbon dioxide is emitted for every ton of paper produced. This however, was based on producing a magazine; the study found that standard typing paper could actually have a negative carbon impact in terms of production, with the form of land use contributing to a net carbon sink.

The most important part of the sustainability of paper lies in its eventual demise – recycling or landfill acts to sequester the carbon inherent in the paper, whilst incineration returns the carbon to the atmosphere.

So how do digital media stack up against this? A report by climate change consultants ICF found one spam email had an equivalent carbon emission of 0.3 grams. But the emissions created by sending an email largely depends on the server used to send the message. The same study suggests an average emission from one business persons annual email usage to be around 130kg/year.

Another area for potential emissions is data storage; at one stage the majority of information was stored on paper, and whilst there were certainly carbon emissions associated with this paper production, once created, there was no ‘maintenance cost’ in terms of carbon. Today, most information is stored on hard drives; this means there is an initial cost in terms of producing the storage device, and an additional cost in maintaining the system. Whilst storing information on a hard drive does not use up energy in itself, computers are generally kept running for long periods of time in order to provide instant access to the data, something which never occurred with paper records.

Cloud computing is one method that is hoping to reduce the environmental impact of data storage. It has been demonstrated that using a dedicated network of computers for the express purpose of allowing instant access to data, in effect combining small sets of data into a more efficient mega-database, can save a significant amount of energy. This is already becoming an industry standard and can go some way to reducing emissions from computing.

Compact discs have long been a staple of society, although they are today fast losing their grip in a world increasingly dominated by soft copy data. Nevertheless, there have been an unfathomable amount of CD’s created in the last 30 years – there are many sound bites commenting that end to end, the number of CD’s created could stretch around the world ‘x’ amount of times. There have been various figures suggested for the carbon emissions created by a CD, but the music industry puts the figure at between 160-500g per disc, depending on whether one uses a plastic jewel case or a cardboard sleeve. The CD itself is estimated to cost around 100g of carbon dioxide.

How does a music download compare? This considers two factors: the energy used by the music providers’ servers, and the energy used in downloading on the pc. Estimates on this are around 14g of carbon dioxide. However, the production costs are dwarfed in comparison by the energy used repeatedly listening to the music, which depends on the hardware used to play it. Playing music on a computer is very inefficient, using up far more energy than a personal stereo or CD player.

The problem it seems does not lie with the type of media being used, but the sustainability of the processes behind it. An email sent using a low energy highly efficient server will be considerably greener than one on an inefficient server. On the other hand, this applies to physical media as well; paper produced from a sustainably sourced forest, disposed of or recycled mindfully can be carbon neutral or better.

Infrastructure is the key to both reducing carbon emissions and creating a more sustainable world data environment. The main advantage of soft digital media are perhaps, the reduction in eventual waste and the preservation of dwindling natural resources, which can now be used for other purposes. Plastic is becoming a huge challenge for the world, and reducing the production of CD’s must surely be beneficial to the environment. What we must be careful of though, is to assume that unseen ‘hidden’ emissions are not forgotten emissions.

Environmental Logos and Certifications for Paper – Part 2 of 2

This article is Part 2 of a two-part series. It offers more examples of self-declarations, specific to the paper industry, and information on certifications   

February 2, 2012

In
yesterday’s post I wrote about the 
rationale behind
eco-logos
 and illustrated the difference between
self-generated claims and certifications. Now let’s take a closer look at
claims for paper.

Here’s
an example of a self-declaration regarding the environmental attributes of
paper:  
Paper is made from renewable resources with
high levels of renewable energy and is recyclable.

If you trust me
and/or my credentials, this statement alone might make you feel comfortable
about using paper.  It is hard to imagine a material with a stronger
sustainability position. However, it is undeniable that not all paper mills
have the same environmental footprint, and not every company sources their wood
fiber responsibly. Herein lies the value of certification programs.

Let’s break down my
statement one element at a time.

Renewable resources:

Within the wood and
paper products industry it is well understood that stakeholders want assurance
that forest management practices are in place to protect forests and verify
that the source of wood fiber indeed gets renewed and stays as a working forest. 
Several international standards have emerged and our mills maintain chain of
custody certifications for the three leading programs: FSC, SFI and PEFC. 
If the chain of custody is maintained all the way from the forest to the print
shop floor, projects printed on our papers can carry labels representing these
certification programs.  At the consumer level, the label helps to convey
the fact the wood was sourced responsibly.  These labels are also being
seen in the solid wood markets on products ranging from timber (e.g. 2x4s) to
cabinetry, flooring, and furniture.

High levels of
renewable energy:

When
a papermaking facility is integrated (the pulp mill attached to the paper mill)
wood waste and by-products are incinerated to generate steam. That steam is
then passed across a turbine to generate electricity and the remaining steam is
used to turn mechanical shafts and provide thermal energy throughout the
mill.  This co-generation of steam and electricity makes integrated mills
highly efficient as compared to electric utilities that discard waste heat.
While I have yet to find a certification standard that has developed a program
for overall energy claims, there are multiple standards that exist regarding
the use of renewable energy for 
electricity
These programs are based on the generation and trading of 
renewable energy certificates (REC’s). 
The chemical recovery boilers at Sappi’s coated fine paper mills are both
certified in accordance with the Green-e standard and we are therefore able to
make claims in the marketplace that 100% of the electricity for certain
products is certified renewable energy.  If a printer is also using certified
REC’s, the final product can carry a 
Green-e label explaining that both the paper and the
printing utilized 100% certified electricity.

Recyclable:

While
recycling has been around since the first paper mills landed in the US, there
is still much confusion regarding the recyclability of certain grades. For a
product to carry a broad claim of recyclability, at least 60% of users must
have access to a facility that can recycle the product. Otherwise a claim
should be supported by an additional clarifying statement such as “where
facilities exist.” For coated fine papers, the groundwork has been covered and
it is appropriate to make these claims. However, to my knowledge there is no
third party certification for “please recycle claims.”  Several trade
associations have developed logo programs including the
 MPA’s
“Please recycle this magazine,” the 
DMA’s
“Recycle Please” blue bin logo, and the 
EMA’s
“Please recycle this envelope” program.  We have also made hi res icons
available for download 
here.

Laura
M. Thompson, Ph.D., is director of sustainable development and technical
marketing at Sappi Fine Paper North America. She has a B.S. in Chemical
Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. and PhD in Paper
Science from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology.  Since 1995, she
has held a variety of positions within the paper industry including R&D,
mill environmental, product development for specialties and coated fine paper,
and, most recently, sustainability.  Since joining Sappi in 2006, Laura
has quickly emerged as an industry leader in the field of sustainable
development.

Envelope Manufacturers Association Joins Two Sides

A recent press release from EMA as one of the many Allied Organizations to join Two Sides over the past months.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (January 11, 2012) – The Envelope Manufacturers Association (EMA) today announced that it has joined Two Sides, the fast-growing non-profit organization established to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper.
“Print and paper will continue to be important to the U.S. economy, to the millions of people who depend on the mailing industry for jobs and to those who simply enjoy the experience of ink on paper,” says EMA President and CEO Maynard H. Benjamin. “EMA joined Two Sides to help us expand our own efforts to educate people on the many environmental, social and economic benefits of print and paper and to dispel myths about the medium’s true sustainability.”
“Print and paper have a great environmental story to tell, and Two Sides is committed to spreading the word as our U.S. effort continues to grow,” says Two Sides President Phil Riebel. “Made from one of the earth’s few truly renewable resources – trees from responsibly managed forests – print and paper is the most recycled commodity in the world. The demand for responsibly grown wood fiber to make print and paper products provides a long-term financial incentive for private landowner to manage their lands sustainably instead of selling them for development,” he adds. “And in the United States, the paper and forest products industry contributes hundreds of thousands of jobs to the print and paper supply chain.”
About the Envelope Manufacturers Association
EMA is dedicated to the business activities of manufacturers and printers of envelopes, forms and packaging. The association exists to promote the value of paper-based communications and, in particular, envelopes and printed products.
Contact: Kim Moses, EMA at 703-739-2200

Research Shows Americans Still Prefer Print and Paper Communications, but Misconceptions about Environmental Sustainability Remain

If you prefer to read from paper instead of an electronic screen, you're not alone.

CHICAGO, January 18, 2012 – If you prefer to read from paper instead of an electronic screen, you're not alone.  According to  a recent survey commissioned by Two Sides, the fast-growing non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper, 70 percent of Americans, including 69 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, say they prefer to read print and paper communications than reading off a screen.  

Most of those surveyed also believe that paper records are more sustainable than electronic record storage (68 percent) and that paper is more pleasant to handle and touch than other media (67 percent).  But survey results also show that many Americans still have misconceptions about the environmental impacts of print and paper.

"Even though most Americans still prefer print over electronic communications, they also have misconceptions about the effects of paper-based communications on the environment," says Two Sides President Phil Riebel.   "In fact, print and paper have a great environmental story to tell, and Two Sides is committed to setting the record straight using factual information from well-known, credible sources."

The Two Sides survey indicates a majority of respondents are concerned about the effect of print and paper production on forests and believe that there is a connection between the loss of tropical rainforests and the manufacture of paper, but data from a variety of sources show these beliefs to be unfounded.

"Authoritative sources like the U.S. Forest Service, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and others report that the amount of forestland in the United States has remained nearly the same over the last century at about 750 million acres, and the major cause of global deforestation is not papermaking, but the conversion of tropical rainforests to agricultural land," Riebel says.   

While 96 percent of survey respondents said they believe recyclability is a sign of environmentally responsible products, most significantly underestimated the amount of U.S. paper that's actually recycled each year.  "Most people think the U.S. paper recycling rate is between 20 and 40 percent," Riebel explains, "but American Forest and Paper Association data show that more than 63 percent of all paper used in the United States in 2010 was recycled.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, that's more than any other commodity, including plastics, glass and metals. The industry has set a goal to exceed 70 percent of all paper recovered for recycling by 2020."

The survey also found that more than half respondents believe that electronic communications are a more environmentally friendly way to read books, magazines and mail.  "That's another myth that has been perpetuated by financial institutions, utilities and other organizations that are trying to save money by encouraging consumers to go green by going paperless, Riebel says.  "The fact is that both electronic and paper-based communications have an environmental footprint, and making both smaller is the right environmental choice."

Earlier this month, Two Sides launched its U.S. website, www.twosides.us, as a resource for consumers, the media and others who are looking for a trustworthy resource for factual information on the environmental sustainability of print and paper.  The website offers a "myths and facts" section that dispels many of the common misconceptions about the medium's environmental impacts, including citations from authoritative sources with links to original source documents.

About the survey:

Two Sides commissioned Ipsos, a global market research company, to conduct a multi-country survey in September 2011.  U.S. results included 500 respondents classified by age and gender.

About Two Sides:

Two Sides is an independent, non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper.  Started in Europe in 2008, Two Sides is now active in 12 countries, with links to similar projects in Australia and Japan. The organization has more than 1,000 members that span the entire print and paper supply chain, including pulp and paper producers, paper distributors, ink and chemical manufacturers, printers, equipment manufacturers and publishers. For more information about Two Sides, please contact Phil Riebel at 1-855-896-7433 or pnr@twosides.info, or visit the Two Sides website at www.twosides.us.   

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