Paper, Ink and the Planet

DMP Harris places a high importance on products that are environmentally responsible. We encourage our customers to think carefully about the environmental credentials of the paper and ink products they choose. Working together we believe that we can make a difference not only for ourselves, but more importantly for future generations.

Deforestation, energy consumption, chemicals, water use. These ideas get so much airtime it’s no wonder many people believe that paper is bad for the environment.

The truth is that today’s paper industry is one of the most sustainable industries in the world. Wood for papermaking is sourced from well-managed forests, where far more trees are planted than are cut down. And the paper industry is leading the way in its development of sustainable manufacturing practices.

What’s more, the tree farms planted and tended by the timber and paper industries act as vast carbon sinks that help repair the environmental damage caused by other industry.



It’s a myth that the paper industry causes deforestation. In fact, for every tree cut down to make timber or paper products, three or four are planted in its place. The world’s forested surface is actually increasing by 340,000 hectares a year.
Deforestation is occurring mainly in the tropics, for reasons completely unrelated to paper. The main causes of deforestation are agriculture and domestic fuel use, which account for around half of all trees cut down worldwide.

There are around 140 million hectares of farmed trees around the world. Each of those trees spends its life gobbling up the CO2 by-products of fossil fuel use, storing the carbon and releasing vital oxygen. And products made from trees, like timber and paper, lock away that captured carbon for the lifetime of the product.


Paper Choice and Selection

Our starting point for choosing a stock should be the product's ability to satisfy the aesthetic and the technical requirements of a specific project. Paper is manufactured in a number of finishes, weights and colours to suit a broad range of end uses. A gloss art paper would be an unsuitable choice for a letterhead just as a transparent sheet would be if used for a newspaper.

All paper is engineered to provide optimum results in their particular fields. Copy paper is manufactured with the right moisture content, grammage and grain direction to suit the modern office equipment that it was designed for. When we have to choose between brands of copy paper we might be persuaded to make that decision based on a products environmental credentials.

When we make choices regarding types of stocks then we need to be aware of the final printed result we are trying to achieve. A new car brochure printed on an uncoated, recycled stock will have a very different appearance to one printed on a premium coated gloss art paper.

While some stocks have a higher environmental profile than others, almost all can be recycled. When paper is recycled it makes a positive contribution to the reduction of water and energy use, air pollution and landfill.

When selecting an environmentally responsible product it is always important to review its environmental credentials. Now, responsible papers are often inexpensive, white, smooth and crisp, and can be very different in appearance to that of traditional recycled stocks.



Soy ink is a kind of ink made from soybeans. As opposed to traditional petroleum-based ink, soy-based ink is more environmentally friendly, might provide more accurate colors, and makes it easier to recycle paper.

Environmentally friendly biodegradable vegetable or soy oil has replaced mineral oil and petroleum as the base for most printing ink.

Because vegetable oil is lighter in color and cleaner than petroleum, you get the appearance of brighter colors in the printed product.

Understanding the language associated with paper making and the environment will improve our abiltity to make more informed decisions about the choice and use of papers and boards.

Environmental Terms

Understanding the language associated with paper making and the enviroment will improve our abiltity to make more informed decisions about the choice and use of papers and boards.

EMAS - The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), used by the European Union since 1995 and updated in 2001, regarded as the superior environmental standard. The scheme requires transparent public reporting, monitoring, auditing and employee involvement in its implementation. EMAS is designed to deliver continual improvements in a company's environmental performance.

PEFC - The PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in Paris, in 1999, by representatives of eleven officially constituted national PEFC governing bodies with the support of associations representing some 15 million woodland owners in Europe and of many international forest industry and trade organizations PEFC promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third party certification, and provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests.

ISO 14001 - The International Organisation for Standards (ISO) promotes the development and implementation of voluntary international standards. ISO 14001 has established performance objectives and environmental management systems to prevent pollution, ensure compliance with regulations and achieve continual improvement.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) - A WWF supported, international non-profit organisation, founded in 1993 to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world's forests. The FSC have introduced a "Chain of Custody" labelling system for wood and paper products which means that they are certified at each stage of their manufacture to meet social, economic and environmental standards.

Well Managed Forests (WMF) - Forests that are certified and audited to ensure they comply with environmentally sustainable practice and principles. A number of systems are used throughout the world, including the Forest Stewardship Council, the Finnish Forest Certification System (FFCS), the Pan-European Forest Certification Scheme (PEFC) and the North American Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).

Recycled - (Paper that is reused after its original manufacture.) One of the reasons paper is such a sustainable product is that it’s fully recyclable. Around 50% of paper is now recovered and reused around the world, dramatically reducing the amount of paper going to landfill or being incinerated.

When we refer to paper as being recycled the content must include a level of recycled material. The proportion of recycled material is usually provided in the product description. Genuine recycled papers should contain a minimum of 20-30% post consumer waste.

Recycling enables us to reuse paper once it has been discarded. This extends its life and maximises its economic value. But we can't just manufacture recycled paper on its own, it is simply a part of the paper making cycle. One process relies on the other. Careful management of forest assets will ensure that we have sufficient resources to meet our needs and environmentally managed production processes will maintain and improve the quality of our air and our water.

Sensible recycling strategies will ensure that paper is reused, which enables us to optimise the potential of this important resource.

Although paper can be recycled a number of times it is important to remember that it is not 100% recyclable into paper of the same quality. Each time paper is recycled some of the fibres breakdown. This means that when we make paper from recycled materials we create a paper that is different in quality.

It is also important to understand the role of recycled products in the context of the complete paper making cycle. If we can raise the level of use of recycled paper then we can achieve a more efficient use of resources. By practicing recycling, using recycled products and promoting the concept of recycling whenever the opportunity allows, we can make a positive difference to the environment.

Alternative Fibre - Paper made from fibre that is sourced from alternatives to wood. These include: cotton, bagasse, seaweed and hemp. The visual characteristics and print performance of these stocks are often indistinguishable from traditional wood based products.

Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) - When paper is made from wood it becomes discoloured by tannin and lignin which are naturally occurring impurities in the timber. Traditionally chlorine has been used to bleach these impurities to make the paper white, but it has been found to have negative environmental impacts. ECF pulps are bleached with a derivative of chlorine which virtually eliminates toxic emissions.

Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) - When a pulp is referred to as being Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) it means that the bleaching process avoids the use of all chlorine. While TCF pulps have important environmental impacts they have a low yield and require more wood to make the same amount of paper as ECF pulps.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS) - External certification, ongoing auditing systems and internal Mill Specific Environmental Management Systems that are designed to assure continuous improvement and the reduction of negative environmental impacts. Currently, a wide selection of the Raleigh Paper range is certified by at least two leading global EMS systems - EMAS and ISO 14001.

Environmental Labelling - Worldwide, efforts have been made to use systems of labelling to identify and confirm when environmentally sustainable practices have been used in paper production. The Nordic Swan and Blue Angel labels which have been widely used in Scandinavia and Europe, and the Green Seal which is used in the USA, are now being surpassed by EMAS and ISO 14001.

Environmental Reporting - Paper manufacturers like UPM-Kymmene now produce highly detailed environmental reports that contain information about most aspects of paper manufacture. Information about energy use, water quality, air quality and chemical use can be easily accessed using the internet.

Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) - The Index was launched in 1999 to track the financial performance of the world's leading sustainability-driven companies.  The Index tracks performance using economic, social and environmental criteria.  Companies listed on the DJSI are reviewed annually.

Sitemap Quadramedia