Submitted: The Two Sides Team September 15, 2014
It’s becoming more commonplace for consumers to know all they can about the company manufacturing the product and where these companies source their raw materials. Domtar wants to help.
This article originally appeared on The Guardian website on September 15, 2014.
Recognizing that transparency has now become fully integrated into the purchasing decision process for consumers today, Domtar developed The Paper Trail.
Created as a transparency tool that allows customers to use its responsibly crafted products with greater confidence, The Paper Trail gives the social and environmental impacts of Domtar’s manufacturing operations. Believing that customers deserve to know where their paper comes from as well as the impacts their purchasing decisions have – both good and bad – The Paper Trail is the industry’s most transparent impact estimator.
Users interested in learning about their environmental impact can enter in their information to receive personalized impact reports the present the impact estimates of Domtar product offerings across five categories: Fiber, Atmosphere, Water, Energy and Waste. The results are then translated into real-world equivalents so the user has some context for the numbers they see. For example, the water used to create a paper order may be related to the amount of water the average North American household uses in a day.
The tool then provides users with facts about the products and mill of manufacture. But The Paper Trail doesn’t just list the positives. Domtar designed the site so that it also acknowledge imperfections, adding a level of credibility not found in other impact calculators currently in the market. By identifying areas that the company can improve upon, it provides the opportunity to list how these areas are being addressed.
As an industry leader in providing transparency, it’s important to illustrate not only the environmental aspects of Domtar’s operations, but the economic and social as well. That’s why The Paper Trail gives a unique perspective into the people and places behind Domtar’s products. Users of The Paper Trail can learn about Domtar’s manufacturing facilities in a number of ways – from viewing a small town’s local landmarks, to reading about the charitable causes our mills proudly support, to watching clips of a small landowner that benefitted from company expertise. Among today’s calculators, only The Paper Trail provides such detail. And though they often go untold, the positive social and economic impacts of Domtar’s North American operations are an important part of its commitment to holistic sustainability.
Domtar is widely known as a leader in forest certification and environmental stewardship. The company’s history of industry-leading collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations, including over a decade of work with the Rainforest Alliance, continues to this day with the transparency on display in The Paper Trail. While disclosing such information is far from mandatory, the tool allows insight into the journey of a company striving toward greater environmental responsibility, while serving to improve both Domtar and the industry as a whole.
To learn more about the “radical transparency” that The Paper Trail brings to the market, read Domtar’s EarthChoice white paper.
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