"The environmental impact of manufacturing, and a true understanding of what happens to paper as it moves through its life cycle is increasingly significant as companies make the tough decisions on where and how to reduce their carbon footprint," said Laura Thompson, Ph.D., director of sustainable development and technical marketing, Sappi Fine Paper North America. "Leading by example, Sappi chose to undertake a detailed analysis of our Somerset manufacturing operations in Skowhegan, Maine. In sharing the findings of this study, we illustrate how a well done assessment can help eliminate misconceptions and push the boundaries of traditional thinking on the benefits of recycled fiber compared to virgin fiber."
eQ Insights Volumes 4.2 and 4.3 continue where Volume 4.1, "Life Cycle Assessment of Paper Products: Part One - The Basics," leaves off by examining the LCA methodology needed to help paper buyers make good decisions about selection, and then leveraging a LCA study to provide a snapshot of the unexpected findings about the paper products made at Sappi's Somerset mill:
- Volume 4.2, "Life Cycle Assessment of Paper Products: Part Two - The Impact of Methodology on the Life Cycle Analysis of Paper Products"provides an overview of how Sappi defined the boundaries of analysis and methodology for studying the carbon footprint of pulp and printing papers manufactured at our North American operations. LCA can be used to help paper buyers make good decisions about paper selection - but due to the varying benefits and limitations to using LCA, it can also lead to false conclusions and bad decisions when implemented improperly. Ultimately Sappi's aim is to help companies make the right decisions to help reduce the carbon footprint within their supply chain.
- Volume 4.3, "Life Cycle Assessment of Paper Products: Part Three - The Carbon Footprint of Sappi's Somerset Mill and the Impact of Recycled Fiber"offers guidance to customers and other stakeholders looking for information regarding LCA as it applies to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or carbon footprint of pulp and paper products made at Sappi's Somerset mill. Ultimately, Sappi learned that Somerset Synergy® virgin pulp has a low carbon footprint when compared to some other pulping technologies, including the use of deinked, recycled fiber. Contrary to general assumptions, displacing 10% of Sappi pulp with purchased deinked recycled fiber actually increased the carbon footprint of Sappi paper by about 16%.
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Under the guidance of Dr. Laura Thompson, Sappi published its first eQ Insights white paper on environmentally responsible paper procurement policies in May 2011, and has since continued its coverage of important topics and best practices for the paper industry with additional volumes of research. Subjects range from water use and treatments in the paper industry to renewable energy certificates and sustainable uses of recycled fiber. The overall objective of the series is to provide current and applicable information that can help increase sustainable practices across the pulp and paper industry supply chain.
About Sappi Fine Paper North America
Sappi Fine Paper North America, known for innovation and quality, is a preeminent North American producer of coated fine and release papers, as well as dissolving wood pulp (DWP) and market kraft pulp headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Its coated fine papers, with highly recognized brand names such as McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are used in premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. The company is also the world's leading supplier of release papers for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries, including the globally recognized Ultracast brand. Sappi's release papers provide the surface aesthetics for synthetic fabrics used in footwear, clothing, upholstery and accessories, as well as the textures for decorative laminates found in kitchens, baths, flooring and other decorative surfaces. Sappi globally is the world's largest manufacturer of dissolving wood pulp and the leading supplier of viscose staple fiber. Dissolving wood pulp is a versatile raw material used by manufacturers to produce a wide range of products including textile fibers, pharmaceutical, beauty, and household products. Sappi Fine Paper North America, through the recent conversion of the Cloquet pulp mill, manufactures dissolving pulp under Sappi's Specialised Cellulose division primarily for the textile markets.
Sappi Fine Paper North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited, a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with over 14,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world.