The paper industry has sustained consistent criticism over recent years that its practises are imperilling the environment by destroying forests to boost profits! This accusation that making paper is a danger to the environment has become increasingly loud, particularly as society has become more digitised.
On the other hand, the paper industry has a strong counter argument: Its practises are environmentally sound and it boosts a commitment to sustainable forestry. This is an argument promoted by paper and print advocacy group, Two Sides, which ran an advertising campaign in 2015 that featured in the National Press promoting the sustainability of paper and print.
Key messages of their campaign were that Europe recycles 72% of paper consumed and European forests have increased in size by 30% since 1950. Two Sides also actively encourages people to go and visit their paper mill and see the day-to-day workings.
Print Week recently visited a paper mill owned by UPM in the Bavarian Town of Augsburg and discovered that much of Germany’s forestry (which covers around a third of the country) is certified to certain ecological and socio-economic standards, a level of accreditation that UPM demands from all its supply partners.
There is also a strong commitment within the industry to boost a variety of trees, allowing the forest ecosystem to adapt to environmental change, such as changes to climate. Furthermore, paper companies are persistent in ensuring that the suppliers they use are committed to recycling, with many ensuring that there are best practises in sustainable forestry and wood sourcing.