Beyond the Recycling Bin
“For 2004, all indications are that the percentages have increased substantially,” Elm suggests. “We’re still crunching the numbers for U.S. operations. That said, Chain of Custody is now just beginning to be implemented, and only in several mills, so we’re not able to measure the annual average content of certified fiber in our 2004 marketing papers. I expect at least two additional mills to come online with Chain of Custody systems in 2005. This will help us further track, measure and verify the amount of certified content in the paper products we use.”
Last January, the company published its Green Book catalog of environmentally friendly products, which Office Depot touts as the only environmentally preferable office products catalog printed on elemental, chlorine-free, 100 percent PCW, recycled paper.
Norm Thompson Outfitters is another cataloger that has taken a lead role in environmental advocacy. As just one example of its ongoing commitment, the Portland, Ore.-based merchant announced in April that it had changed papers for its Sahalie catalog and all corporate order forms to Domtar’s EarthChoice papers. Sahalie, the cataloger noted, was the first of its kind in North America to be printed on paper made with fiber from forests certified to FSC standards.
So why aren’t more catalogers making environmentally sound choices? Officials at Environmental Defense, a New York City-based, nonprofit environmental advocacy note “Recycled paper is not widely used in catalogs, mostly due to outdated notions that it doesn’t look as good, and that it costs a lot more. These myths recently have been proven wrong.”
Whether or not to use recycled papers should be based on more than environmental benefits, suggests Neenah Paper’s Gerry Rector, senior brand manager. “Catalogers also should consider whether designing using recycled papers increases response, makes the product look better, increases time in the hands of consumers or adds to the visual impact of the print. We recommend a trial catalog before deciding.”