Paper is the 4th largest industrial source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

Deforestation accounts for 25% of human caused C02 emissions.

When paper degrades in a landfill it releases methane, a greenhouse gas emission that is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Globally, over 40% of the industrial wood harvest is used to make paper.

Between 7 and 11% of the world's terrestrial biospheric carbon is stored in the Canadian Boreal Forest.

Pulp and paper account for 50% of Indonesia’s exports of forest products.

Over the course of its lifecycle, postconsumer recycled fiber requires 30-40% less energy than virgin fiber.

Between 7 and 11% of the world's terrestrial biospheric carbon is stored in the Canadian Boreal Forest.

Pulp and paper account for 50% of Indonesia's exports of forest products.

In 2010, it is expected that 25% of global pulp exports will be from South America.

The southeast U.S. is the largest paper producing region in the world. Already 15% of the forest (32 million acres) consists of single-species tree plantations.

 

Southeast US
Canadian Boreal
Indonesia
 
Support the Boreal Conservation Framework
FBoreal Songbird Initiative
Canadian Boreal Initiative
Canadian Boreal Initiative
Canadian Boreal Initiative
Canadian Boreal Initiative
Canadian Boreal Initiative
 
   

Impacts on Climate

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Emissions from pulp and paper mills, like the one shown above, are the
fourth largest industrial source of greenhouse gases in the United States.


Though not often associated with global warming, the paper industry is the third or fourth largest source of industrial greenhouse gas emissions in most developed countries. In fact, paper has impacts all through its lifecycle as outlined below:

Sourcing Impacts

  • Each Year More than 20 million trees are consumed for production of book papers and about 95 million tress are consumed for newsprint
  • Deforestation is the source of 25% of human caused greenhouse gas emissions
  • Over 40% of the global industrial wood harvest is used to make paper
  • Forests that have been cleared and allowed to regrow do not store as much carbon as an undisturbed forest. In one study in Ohio, a forest that was cleared and allowed to regrow for 70 years stored only half as much carbon as a nearby forest  that had never been disturbed.

Production Impacts

  • The pulp and paper industry is the 4th largest emitter of greenhouse gases among U.S. manufacturing industries.
  • The paper industry contributes 9% of total carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing.

Disposal Impacts

  • Paper makes up 26% of landfills. Degradation produces methane a greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat trapping capacity of carbon dioxide.
  • Landfills are the source of 34% of methane releases—the single largest source in the U.S.

Relevant Resources

Book Industry Environmental Trends and Climate  Impacts  Report –  This report takes an in depth look at the book industry’s impacts on climate change, and environmental trends in the industry.

Guide to Reducing Climate Impacts– A guide for those in the book and newspaper industry to reduce impacts on climate change

Energy Conservation Factsheet – A factsheet with details on how businesses can reduce their energy consumption and impacts on climate change

Paper Calculator – Developed by Environmental Defense, this toolk can help you calculate the environmental impacts and benefits of using different types of paper

Guide to Paper and Climate  This report, developed by metafore, provides a detailed overview of the impacts of paper on climate change, and offers suggestions to reduce these impacts.

Going Carbon Neutral: A guide for publishers – A guide for publishers to calculate, minimize and offset greenhouse gas emissions.

State of the Industry Summary – An in-depth report by the Environmental Paper Network which looks at environmental impacts of the paper industry, and tracks recent progress and trends.

What You Can Do to Help the Industry Meet Environmental Goals – A Q&A with Book Industry Environmental Council Members Todd Pollak and Pete Datos
 

 

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