Your handy guide to buying sustainable paper

As forest loss, pollution and climate change become major concerns for businesses of all sizes, it is more vital than ever to put in place a strategic approach for sustainable paper purchase and use. There are steps that you as a purchaser can take to reduce the environmental footprint of paper production and take better responsibility for the products you buy. With these conscious changes you can help towards minimising forest degradation and biodiversity loss as well as lessening your contribution to climate change, water and air pollution as well as producing less waste.

Step 1: Develop a paper purchasing and use policy

The first step is putting in place a policy specifically designed to reduce the ill-effects of paper production. Take a closer look at your office’s production routines to more efficiently manage paper use; buy paper with a lower grammage that still meets your basic requirements; and install a recycling waste paper basket into your office so that paper waste can be recycled.

Make it clear to all of your employees that paper should be used responsibly and rethink your specifications for product and packaging design. Speak with your paper supplier to ensure that they are excluding fibres from illegal or other undesirable sources in compliance with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Controlled Wood standard.

Step 2: Choose a sustainable paper manufacturer

Not all paper manufacturers are cut from the same cloth! Choose a manufacturer that is committed to minimising their release of fossil CO2 and that are making an active effort to lessen their CO2 emissions and landfill waste. Changing to unbleached paper and opting for manufacturers that implement third-party environmental systems can also positively contribute to the battle against the aforementioned risks.

Step 3: Develop a SMART action plan to stay on track

Assess where your business is currently at with its paper consumption and develop a SMART action plan to achieve each goal. Changes take time so don’t expect to meet every target at once, but the key is to persist and set a steady pace that can be maintained for years to come.

As a business owner, it’s up to you to make sure your paper policy is operational and effective. If you are unsure where to start, Hague is here to help. Our strategic print partners all hold the FSC/PEFC Chain of Custody Certification which means all the paper products we supply you with can include the FSC/PEFC logo. This means that each printed product meets strict environmental and social standards and have been made from a sustainable managed source.

Click here to enquire about our sustainable paper practices and find out how we can help your business to become more carbon neutral.