Print and paper have been a valued communications medium for more than 2000 years, serving as a catalyst for learning, creativity and commercial enterprise. Print on paper also have unique environmental features and play a critical role in supporting the U.S. economy.
The demand for responsibly produced paper provides a financial incentive for landowners to keep their land forested and manage it sustainably rather than selling it for development – the primary cause of deforestation in the United States, according to the U.S. Forest Service. This sustainably managed land, in turn, provides a host of continuing eco-system services, from clean water, healthy soil and climate change mitigation to recreational opportunities and aesthetic beauty.
The demand for responsibly produced paper also supports millions of U.S. jobs. The American Forest & Paper Association reports that the paper and forest products industry directly employs approximately 900,000 workers in green jobs, making the industry a Top 10 manufacturing employer in 47 states. When jobs in industries that depend on paper such as printing, suppliers to the printing and paper industries, direct mail, and public and private mail production and delivery are added, the number of paper-supported jobs jumps to 8.4 million (2012 Mailing Jobs Study, EMA Foundation).
So, what are the characteristics of responsibly produced print and paper? Print and paper are recyclable and are made primarily from a natural resource that is renewable – trees as well as recovered paper. These inherent characteristics, combined with the U.S. print and paper industry’s advocacy of responsible forestry practices and certification, advances in cleaner, more efficient print and papermaking technology, and increasing use of renewable, carbon-neutral biofuels in the paper manufacturing process make print and paper one of the most sustainable products when compared to other products we use.
Below you will find links to additional resources that provide a more in-depth understanding of responsible print and paper production and use across the paper life cycle.
Two Sides Reference Sheets: