When it comes to the environment, many people believe that going paperless is the most eco-friendly move a company can make. We here at Forth wanted to help in setting the record straight and stop the demonisation of those thin little slices of wood that have helped mould the evolution of society and humankind as a whole…
For example, did you know that an avid reader will use 28 kilograms of CO2 per year by reading printed news for 30 minutes a day? However, the same avid reader would use 35 kilograms of CO2 per year by reading online news for 30 minutes a day. (KHT Centre for Sustainable Communications, 2014)
It’s also important to remember that as of 2014, 19% (almost 1 in 5) of European households didn’t have access to the internet, further bellowing the importance of paper in customer communications. (Eurostat, 2014)
Now, with this in mind, it’s time to lay to rest the misconceptions regarding paper’s negative effect on the environment. The paper, pulp and print sector is one of the lowest industrial emitters of greenhouse gasses, accounting for 1% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. (Ecofys, 2013)
The CO2 emissions of the European pulp and paper industry also reduced by 22% between 2005 and 2013. (CEPI Key Statistics, 2014) Furthermore, the European recycling rate for paper reached 72% in 2014 – that amounts to 2 tonnes of paper being recycled every second! (European Declaration on Paper Recycling, Monitoring Report 2014)
And how has this affected European forests, I hear you all cry, as if you’d just watched Avatar and THAT scene from Lord of the Rings The Two Towers with Treebeard (you know the one)
over and over again? Well between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by 44,000 Square Kilometres – that’s an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to over 1,500 football pitches everyday! (FAO, 2015)
Additionally, if a company thinks that going paperless looks better to consumers from an environmental standpoint, well it may surprise you that 87% of consumers agreed that the main reasons companies would want to shift to electronic delivery, is to save money – not to be environmentally responsible. (Two Sides and Toluna, 2013)
So keep using paper! Just remember to also keep recycling, there’s still time for us all to save this big ball of love we call home!
The Forth Team.
For more info on the myths and facts of paper and print, read TwoSides’s publication here