Pulp and Paper Canada

Features Environment Sustainability
Domtar shares environmental and social impact of making paper


June 14, 2011
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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A new tool from Domtar Corporation offers customers the ability to view the environmental impacts of specific paper grades, providing a high degree of transparency. The online tool that Domtar calls the “Paper Trail” discloses what it takes to…

A new tool from Domtar Corporation offers customers the ability to view the environmental impacts of specific paper grades, providing a high degree of transparency. The online tool that Domtar calls the “Paper Trail” discloses what it takes to manufacture Domtar paper and assists businesses and consumers to measure their impact on the environment while also providing guidance in their choice of product.

The Paper Trail (http://www.domtarpapertrail.com) develops personalized reports that measure Domtar products across five categories: water usage, the distance fibre travels to a paper mill, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, waste sent to landfills, and renewable energy usage. The data is displayed in real-world equivalents, with comparisons to issues such as the amount of water the average household uses or the amount of waste it generates. The Paper Trail will also illustrate how Domtar compares to the rest of the industry in these particular categories.

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“We know consumers are increasingly aware of their effect on the environment and want to know where their paper comes from. We think we have a good story to tell, and part of that story is being transparent,” said Lewis Fix, Domtar vice-president of sustainable business and brand management.

“Other paper calculators often give only part of the story,” Fix said. “They usually compare recycled and non-recycled grades and the differences in resources used, and they estimate savings based only on industry averages. The Paper Trail will show Domtar mill-specific data, and since no company is environmentally perfect, it indicates what we are doing well and what needs to be improved. We think it’s crucial to share all the information, and then let the customers make their own decisions.”

Initially, the Paper Trail will measure the impact of two Domtar products: EarthChoice® Office Paper and Cougar®, both of which have been certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSC). More products and mills will likely be added to this online tool in the future.

The Paper Trail will also provide users with a look at Domtar’s mills — all of which are in North America — with additional information about each facility’s environmental impact and the social and economic benefits the mills have in their communities. In areas where the environmental impact can be improved, Domtar will voluntarily disclose the information, as well as provide efforts for improvement.

“Transparency means sharing everything, not just the highlights, and just as we are committed to developing responsible products, we are committed to transparency,” Fix said. “Realizing our paper comes from sustainable sources and is easily recycled, Domtar customers can see the differences and use our products with greater confidence.”

Domtar is the largest integrated manufacturer and marketer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America and the second largest in the world based on production capacity, and is also a manufacturer of papergrade, fluff and specialty pulp.