Environmental
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) committed in its latest annual progress report to continue advancing sustainability through forest-focused collaborations by maximizing its efforts in standards, conservation, education, and community.
Domtar has released its 2019 Sustainability Report, detailing the progress the company has made on emissions and waste reduction, and other environmental initiatives.
Canon Canada has been awarded LEED Gold for New Construction and Major Renovations 2009 certification for its corporate headquarters in Brampton, Ont.
Mitchell Press is the only Canadian printing company out of 13 winners recognized in the 2018 Kodak Sonora Plate Green Leaf Award. The program, now in its sixth year, celebrates print service providers that adopt sustainable practices and offer their customers eco-friendly options for their printing needs.
Thunderbird Press of Richmond, B.C., has switched to chemistry-free Azura plates in a move to achieve greener outcomes as part of Agfa Graphics GreenWorks, a program that accredits environmentally sustainable North American print service providers.
Canadian printing companies The Printing House and Mitchell Press are two of the three most forest-friendly printers in the 2018 Blueline Ranking, a comprehensive assessment of the environmental performance of North American printers published by Canopy, a global environmental not-for-profit.
Mitchell Press has achieved Climate Smart Certification, having completed its first Greenhouse Emissions (GHG) Inventory, audited and verified by Climate Smart.
Canadian commercial printer Solisco has partnered with PrintReleaf, enabling its clients to select reforestation equivalent to the paper used on their projects.
Brett Martin, a U.K.-based manufacturer of polycarbonate, foam pvc and PETg plastic sheets for the signage and graphics industry, looks to benefit from a combination of renewable supply sources.
PrintReleaf software and collateral literature are now available in six languages: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian.
PrintReleaf – a print industry sustainability and reforestation standard – seeks to offer brands, graphic designers and printers an alternative to chain-of-custody standards currently available.
An improved web-based paper calculator from the Environmental Paper Network-North America aims to provide its users with new information and features to help them measure the impacts of their paper and reduce that impact through better choices.
International environmental not-for-profit Canopy, based in Vancouver, BC, has unveiled the 2017 update to its annual Blueline Ranking, a print-buying tool that profiles and ranks the sustainability performance of North America’s largest printers. Printers analyzed in this year’s assessment represent $34 billion in annual sales. Canopy collaborates with more than 750 companies to develop processes to make their supply chains more sustainable.

Five of the Top 10 printers on Canopy’s North America ranking are Canadian, while another three are within the Top 15, including: TPH The Printing House, TC Transcontinental Printing, Hemlock Printers, MET Fine Printers, The Lowe-Martin Group, Webcom, St. Joseph Communications and Torstar Printing Group.

“As businesses across North America step up to address climate change, it is time to think about the high carbon footprint of printing, which is mainly attributable to paper choices,” said Canopy’s Executive Director, Nicole Rycroft. “Many papers are sourced from the logging of high carbon forests which carries a much bigger climate footprint than processing or transportation within the print sector. We’re encouraged to see strong leadership by many important players in the print sector.”

Based on the report, Canopy reports that 45 percent (20/44) of the printers ranked understand the value of communicating sustainability successes to their clients and have strong sustainability content on their websites. Forty-one percent (18/44) of Blueline printers have policies that support ancient and endangered forest conservation. In just under two years, five of North America’s largest printers have developed new and leading policies, reports Canopy, reflecting clients’ increasing requirements for sustainable printing services.

“The Blueline Ranking aligns with our own sustainability goals and is an invaluable resource for cross-checking our print service providers and monitoring progress," stated Jenny Dela Cruz, Director of Sustainability for HH Global, which is one of a growing number of Fortune 500 companies and leading brands that use the Blueline Ranking as a resource in choosing their print partners.

“As one of the largest providers of marketing communications in North America, it’s important that our customers – both current and future – recognize our commitment to achieving a sustainable supply chain with a reduced carbon footprint,” said Mark O’Leary, President, Taylor Communications, which improved its ranking the most, moving from 18th to 3rd place with strong policy updates and implementation engagement. “We are thrilled to move to third place in the 2017 Blueline Ranking.”

EarthColor and The Printing House, explains Canopy, continue to lead the ranking with strong policies, rigorous policy implementation and transparent reporting on progress and successes.

The Blueline Ranking rates major printers on a set of 32 key sustainability criteria and highlights sector leaders to consumer brands. Those that top the ranking are outperforming their peers in areas such as reducing their use of papers that contain ancient and endangered forest fiber, supporting the advancement conservation solutions, supporting the development of new environmental papers such as those made with high recycled content or straw, and bringing a high degree of transparency to their sustainability initiatives.

This year’s Blueline Ranking is dedicated to the memory of Dick Kouwenhoven, the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hemlock Printers Ltd., noted by Canopy as a champion in sustainability in the print sector.

The interactive online ranking can be viewed here.
A revolution in paper production driven by agricultural-residue pulp mills is on Canada’s horizon (originally published in PrintAction June 2016 magazine).

The potential impact of papers made from agricultural residue is becoming an exciting new sector to watch in Canada. Canopy has just launched its “Say Yes!” project across the North American wheat, rye and sorghum belt. Dubbed YIMBY! – Yes In My Back Yard! – This innovative enterprise is reaching out to agricultural communities asking if they have the straw supply, town infrastructure and other qualities necessary to become a candidate site for a new, green-job-creating straw pulp mills.

The Canadian prairies are being hit hard right now, with economic downturns in Saskatchewan and Alberta taking a toll on jobs and regional stability. New opportunities for rural communities across the Prairies, adding value to agricultural residues typically treated as ‘waste’ products could bring new hope and green jobs to a hard hit part of the country.

The Federal government made bold commitments in at the 2015 UN Conference in Paris to seriously tackle climate change. Intact forest landscapes and their significant contribution to carbon storage are bound to come to the forefront as a means to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and contribute to climate stabilization. Canopy expects this to inevitably lead to greater protection of the boreal forest and a concurrent push to develop alternative fibre sources. The future of straw paper just keeps getting brighter.

Some Canadian printers are early adopters of wheat straw-based papers. The Printing House, Hemlock Printers and MET Fine Printers, for example, offer uncoated free sheet wheat straw-based paper and more printers are bound to join the ranks of these forward-thinking businesses.

Since before Canadian Geographic and Dollco (purchased by Lowe-Martin in 2012) worked with Canopy in 2008 to print a magazine issue on wheat straw-based paper, Canopy has been growing the market for straw-based papers to facilitate the development of agricultural residue pulping capacity.

To date we have identified 1.3 million tons of unmet annual demand for printing and writing grade papers made with straw. That market keeps growing as more print users look to improve their standing on sustainability issues. Now we just need the supply – and it’s looking promising.

Following the launch of YIMBY!, the response from farming communities has been immediate and enthusiastic. Within 24 hours of launching the campaign, Canopy was receiving applications from interested districts. Our detailed questionnaire will delve into the viability of each of these applicants. Do they have a high enough volume of straw available within a set radius? Do they have the water, road and power infrastructure needed to support a pulp mill? Is the work force available?

We’ve done the research, established the criteria with the advice and assistance of experts in the field, and we know the potential exists for many straw pulp mills to be built.

At the same time, we are liaising with entrepreneurs and investors, filling them in on the immense market demand for straw-based papers we have already quantified, the viable community opportunities for mill construction and the green-tech revolution that is ready to launch.

Through our ongoing Second Harvest work, we’ve been privileged to be given confidential access to some of the latest developments and innovations. The revolution is truly gaining momentum.

As new scientific research highlights the critical importance of forests in stabilizing the global climate and mitigating the impacts of climate change, more and more governments will be forced to take action to protect high carbon value ancient forests. And more and more print customers will be looking to avoid contentious forest fibre and seeking viable alternatives to tree paper.

Straw papers will be a game-changer for the availability of publication grade eco-papers and lighten the footprint of print materials. The future of straw can revolutionize the printing industry. Are you ready?
APP of Jakarta, on the three-year anniversary of its Forest Conservation Policy, provided an update of its progress and also launched its Belantara Foundation, an initiative to fund conservation projects in Indonesia. The paper maker also noted progress with its Peatland Best Practice Management Project and a new Integrated Fire Management program involving training from Canadians.

“On the third anniversary of our Forest Conservation Policy launch we are pleased to report that our continued work to implement the policy, together with efforts to align our ambitions with those of other actors in Indonesia’s forests have resulted in tangible progress,” said Aida Greenbury, Managing Director of Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at APP. “We now have the building blocks for a sustainable model of forest and pulp and paper operations whereby forests are protected, communities empowered and our supply chains strengthened.”

The APP Forest Conservation Policy (FCP), launched in February 2013, is what APP describes as its commitment to immediately end deforestation in its supply chain and bring sustainability to the forefront of the company’s operations. Policy commitments by the company include the ending of natural forest conversion throughout its supply chain, best practice in peatland management, and adopting a collaborative approach to resolving social issues.

The company’s previously announced work to block over 3,500 perimeter canals to increase water levels in APP suppliers’ concessions located on peatland has recently been completed, with a total target of 7,000 dams to be built by the end of the first quarter of 2016. This is in addition to the retirement of 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas in Riau and South Sumatra, announced by APP in August 2015. In total, APP and its suppliers have allocated approximately 600,000 hectares for forest conservation and ecosystem restoration within its suppliers' concessions.

Peatland areas are particularly vulnerable to forest fires, explains the company, and these initiatives to manage and protect them are part of APP’s new Integrated Fire Management (IFM) strategy. Fire management experts TREK Wildland Services from Canada and Working on Fire (WOF) from South Africa will provide 400 APP staff members and their suppliers with Incident Command System (ICS) fire training. Two new aircraft with state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras will help gather hotspot data with far greater accuracy than satellite imaging, explains APP. Information will be distributed in near real time to APP’s in-house Geographic Information System (GIS) and distributed to field staff within 15 minutes, allowing rapid response to emerging fire threats.

Another forest protection initiative is the Integrated Forestry and Farming System Program launched by APP during COP21 in Paris. The program aims to help local communities develop alternative livelihoods to achieve economic development while also keeping Indonesia’s forests intact.

As a first step in its implementation, community members will be given equipment and support in the form of microfinance or revolving funds to help kick start local businesses. Horticultural training will also be given to help improve community capacity in managing fruit and vegetable crops using the agroforestry system. The program will include 500 villages across the APP supply chain with up to $10 million invested over the next five years.

Since committing to a landscape approach in 2015, the company has worked to establish a platform to help manage and fund landscape conservation programs in Indonesia. As a result of these efforts, APP has initiated the Belantara Foundation. Today we announce the newly appointed Advisory Board, consisting of widely respected individuals drawn from the government, non-profit and corporate sectors. With the Foundation’s personnel, full working remit and due diligence processes in place, Belantara is now ready to work together with other key stakeholders in the landscape to help support the protection and restoration of Indonesia’s forests.

Belantara Foundation will work with communities, civil society, government and businesses to help ensure a careful balance is found between economic development, the livelihoods of people in local communities and environmental conservation. This involves overseeing natural forest restoration and endangered species protection and conducting studies to strengthen sustainable landscape management.
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