The choices consumers make should be based on a data-driven comparative analysis of lifecycle, carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. When companies like Google Drive and the other members of the Paperless Coalition, call for companies to "Go Paperless 2013" they don't take into account that paper and print on paper are renewable and recyclable resources. This is another example of a campaign using an environmentally-focused marketing strategy to promote its services while ignoring its own impact upon the environment. Print on paper isn't depleting our forests, overwhelming our landfills, or causing global warming.
In the United States, more trees are grown than are harvested and the volume of trees has increased 49% over the last 50 years. The amount of US forestland has remained essentially the same for the last 100 years at about 750 million acres, even though the US population tripled during the same period.
One of the benefits that makes print on paper sustainable is that paper can be 100% recyclable. Recyclability is one of paper's credentials as a renewable resource that can begin and end its life in a responsible manner. In 2011 the U.S. paper recovery rate was a record-high 66.8 percent.
Responsibly managed forests are a critical resource that benefits the environment. Forests provide wood and wood by-products that are now seen as a preferred material as society tries to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels. While it takes energy to produce paper, most of it is renewable. More than 65 percent of the energy needed to produce paper products is derived from carbon-neutral biomass fuel.
As Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-Founder, Greenpeace/Chair & Chief Scientist, Greenspirit Strategies Inc., said, "To address climate change, we must use more wood, not less. Using wood sends a signal to the marketplace to grow more trees and to produce more wood. That means we can then use less concrete, steel and plastic -- heavy carbon emitters through their production. Trees are the only abundant, biodegradable and renewable global resource."