Non-profit design and strategy group GreenBlue has released a set of guidelines aimed at protecting forests by taking a holistic approach to the life cycle management of paper products.
Guidelines for Sustainable Paper Products, developed by GreenBlue’s Forest Products Working Group, are intended to serve as a touchstone, or source of credible information companies can use to inform and support a sustainability strategy. Based on life cycle thinking, the guidelines envision a paper industry in which every product is designed to be safe and healthy throughout its life cycle.
GreenBlue says working across supply chains is a key component of the Forest Products Working Group strategy, and this collaborative approach is reflected in the Guidelines by addressing each stage of the paper life cycle.
Some considerations addressed in the guidelines include:
1. Design for the life cycle
2. Source responsibly
3. Ensure material health
4. Optimize renewable energy
5. Embrace transparency
6. Use clean production technologies and best practices
7. Effectively recover and utilize
8. Create social and economic value
The guidelines are a living document and will be updated regularly based on stakeholder feedback, evolving issues and new information, according to GreenBlue.
“The Guidelines are a foundational vision of what it means for a paper product to be sustainable,” said Jake Swenson, Director of Sustainable Products & Services at Staples. “A key takeaway for purchasers is that considering multiple factors across product sourcing design, manufacturing and end of life can lead to more sustainable outcomes instead of focusing on one specific issue.”
GreenBlue has several other tools to help companies become more sustainable such as its voluntary recycling label, How2Recycle. Last year several major brands adopted the label, including Kellogg, Yoplait and Esteé Lauder.