CO2-friendl(ier) paper supply chains in an instant gratification world

20 05 2008

Image source: National Geographic

A short, weekly “school of hard knocks” history of why paper supply chain management is not as easy as it looks – but can be. A Green Printer dispatch.

Deforestation hurts. Just ask Harrison Ford – he waxed his chest and demonstrated just how close forests are to his heart.

Sustainable management of forests, not simply trees or more recycling, is what Rainforest Alliance‘s executive director Tensie Whelan recently advocated for in GreenBiz and she’s right: while recycling has its environmental limits, sustainably managed forests as a whole ensure the well-being of the forest ecosystem and biodiversity survival for generations to come.

But back to the office drawing board, far removed from the realities of logging triggered orangutan extinction brinks, we need to find practical ways to measure emissions and deforestation impacts from our supply chain before we can begin to live lighter on the earth.

And, that’s what Saas, a Software-as-a-Service solution to create a centralized data hub for the total supply chain costs, claims to do.

According to a study by the Aberdeen Group, “despite heightened attention in recent years, many companies still do not have timely visibility into the critical processes involved in global supply chain management.” The study noted that over of third of SaaS users reported a return on investment within six months and 65% saw ROI within a year.

In an instant gratification world, coupled with the forest and paper products industry’s concerns of continuing to source fibre (the biggest cost driver for the industry) cheaply in order to avoid having to put green paper products in a ‘premium cost’ pedestal, sustainable paper supply management is no walk in the park.

Those just getting their feet wet in tracking their company’s CO2 emissions and tree saving goals can consider Green Printer’s handy eco-calculator widget.

According to a recently released HAVAS Media report, consumers are more likely to scapegoat oil and fuel industries for their climate change havoc (no surprise here), while finance and media industries, who still consume paper sourced from virgin forests – a major climate change aggravator – continue to stay off the hook.

But it’s not their direct onus: according to the Washington, D.C.-based group Forest Trends, China (a major paper supplier to North American industries), continues to depend on virgin forests for its higher-quality paper, sourcing nearly 40 percent of wood and wood pulp from countries where good forest management cannot be assured, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region and, most recently, Africa.

But in the end, good paper policy is a lot about setting high standards in the board room. Standards are powerful stuff. Just ask Wal-Mart, that dark horse that rocked the global, paper supply chain system.

The uber-box retailer has “taken a “lifecycle approach” to packaging with objectives covering reduction in waste and renewable energy. Nine weighted parameters of Wal-Mart’s sustainability scorecard are measured for their prospective and current vendors.”

Financial whizzes can now show their bosses that the contracts don’t need to be printed on precious paper to be signed. That’s because Communication Intelligence Corporation (“CIC”) can play a role in moving the traditionally conservative industry one step closer to the coveted zero emissions office with its biometric signature verification technology.

And lastly, as with the great copy machine epidemic reported by Treehuger (subsequently thwarted by elementary school students in North Babylon), don’t be surprised if tree(forest)-conscious kids spring up across the country.

With more carbon partnerships from CarbonFund like Baby Rain Inc.’s stroller and tree planting collaboration, an offset supply chain is coming from a crib near you.

Save trees, time and money the eco-friendly way with our recycled paper, sustainable printing methods and eco-calculator with Green Printer – more details at http://www.greenprinteronline.com. Now, wasn’t that easy?


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