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Greenhouse gas* emissions have caused a rapid increase in the Earth’s temperature which, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has risen by over 0.7°C in Europe in the last century. The Kyoto Protocol applies across Europe and establishes carbon quotas and reduction objectives which manufacturers must undertake to comply with, or face financial penalties.
Arjowiggins Graphic has chosen to have its greenhouse gas* emissions assessed by a recognised independent body, Labelia Conseil. Manufacturing one tonne of 100%recycled paper1 emits 500 kg of CO2*, compared to up to 800 kg for paper produced from virgin fibres: half the emissions, which is the equivalent of driving from Paris to Moscow! More recently, the inclusion of an ‘Environmental Declaration’ on every Arjowiggins product provides the customer with clear information on the carbon footprint* associated with their choice of paper.
When it reaches the end of its life-cycle*, paper that is sent to land-fill or incinerated will produce further greenhouse gases* (carbon dioxide or methane) as it degrades. Produced in equal amounts, methane is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of contributing to the greenhouse effect. That’s why it’s so important to recycle paper and give it a second life!
1 : data for Eural
The movement of goods and people is vital to the free trade system in which we live. With transport methods that allow us to manufacture goods in China, purchase them in Europe and recycle them in Brazil, geographical distance is no longer an obstacle, but the environmental and financial costs have become especially high.
By reducing distances travelled, Arjowiggins Graphic has succeeded in reducing its carbon emissions: transport is now responsible for only 14% of the Group’s emissions. This is the result of an active policy of regrouping sites. Upstream, the proximity of de-inking plants and paper manufacturing mills cuts down on the need to transport supplies. Downstream, 95% of the Group’s customers are based in Western Europe.
If you are a car owner, cutting down on short journeys, travelling in the correct gear for the speed you’re going, and checking tyre pressure regularly are all highly effective strategies. In total, eco-friendly motoring can use up to 20% less fuel (source ADEME).
1 kilo per day per person: is the quantity of waste currently produced in Europe, and it’s a figure that is constantly increasing (source: Eurostat). Paper and cardboard recycling is pioneering: collection rates reached 63.4% in Europe in 2007 (source: Confederation of European Paper Industries), positioning paper at the top of the list of most commonly recycled materials.
Arjowiggins Graphic is a major manufacturer of recycled paper and currently supplies 40% of the European market, thanks to its high-quality brands and green strategy. The Group recovers paper from waste recycling points and carries out its industrial recycling within close proximity of its mills, in order to cut down on transport-related carbon emissions. This allows 50% of the Greenfield mill input to be coming from 100-km-wide vicinity. Collection of local waste paper is possible thanks to strong partnerships forged over the years with associations and local districts, such as the Le Bourray site in France. This initiative is one way in which the Group can fulfil its social responsibility commitments at a local level.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is an environmental policy instrument, which extends a producer’s obligations throughout a product’s life-cycle*. In France, ECOFOLIO brings together thousands of economic stakeholders who make an eco-contribution for all the printed material that they distribute. This kind of financing is used to improve local paper collection and treatment facilities.
The main types of waste generated in the paper-manufacturing process are waste water sludge that results from treating paper mill effluents, and de-inking sludge inevitably produced during the process of manufacturing recycled paper. Neither is toxic, but the large volumes generated mean that they require special treatment.
Arjowiggins Graphic realised the practical and economic advantage of reducing its waste some time ago. Today, 100% of the sludge produced by Arjowiggins is put to agricultural use (composting and spreading), or used as a raw material to produce cement and bricks.
Heated to a high temperature, the cellulose fibres contained in paper mill sludge* burn and improve the porosity of bricks. A brick produced in this way will have better soundproofing and insulation qualities than a traditional brick.
Air quality has generally improved in Europe over the last 20 years. The emergence of high-performance technologies has encouraged manufacturers to better manage their emissions. Stringent regulations now exist to regulate paper mill emissions, chiefly relating to emissions of CO2*, NOx* and SO2*.
Manufacturing paper from recycled fibres emits 45% fewer greenhouse gases (source: Environmental Defence Fund). Emissions of NOx* and SO2* are 10 times less important for recycled papers.
Of all paper industry emissions, CO2* is a particular cause for concern. Its link to climate change is prompting manufacturers to develop carbon emissions reduction (see ‘Carbon Footprint’*).
Water is a primary resource that is a vital part of the paper manufacturing process, needed at several stages (to make both pulp and paper). Given the crucial need to save water, paper manufacturers are working to develop technical solutions that will enable them to control their water consumption and to treat waste water more efficiently.
Arjowiggins Graphic works with independent monitoring bodies, which ensure that water treated in this way is returned to the natural environment without risk to biodiversity or public health.
Conventional paper-manufacturing processes require around 540 m³ to produce one tonne of paper, most of which is a result of manufacturing virgin pulp. By re-using fibres a number of times, manufacturing recycled paper consumes around 20 m³ per tonne.
Forests play an important role in regulating the global climate – they absorb and cycle huge amounts of carbon and water (source: WWF). In order to limit the impact of the growing demand of wood, various accreditations and corresponding controls have been devised to ensure that commercial forests comply with environmental, social and economic regulations.
Arjowiggins Graphic has chosen to use only pulp originating from sustainably managed forests. In order to demonstrate its commitment, Arjowiggins Graphic has all of its manufacturing sites and paper ranges FSC®-certified wherever possible. FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) is currently the only standard recognised by the major NGOs including WWF and Greenpeace, and ensures compliance with exacting environmental, social and economic criteria throughout the manufacturing chain.
20% of the wood imported into Europe is a result of illegal logging, which has a serious impact on local biodiversity. Given that 50% of the world’s biodiversity resides in our forests, by choosing the FSC® label you are helping to preserve an entire ecosystem.