It’s easy to think of the environmental cost of newspaper and computer printouts because that’s paper in motion – it gets used and then recycled – but what about more permanent uses of paper? What about books?
That’s what leading publishers wanted to examine when they formed PREPS (the Publishers’ database for Responsible Environmental Paper Sourcing) in 2006. Twenty-two companies have come together to develop their understanding of responsible paper supply chains, in particular, the related issue of responsible forestry sourcing. The group is supported by a searchable database which holds technical specifications and details of the pulps and forest sources of the papers they use.
PREPS is recognized as the publishing industry gold-standard for sourcing paper from responsibly managed forests. Under this system, papers are awarded one, three or five stars based on how well managed the forests are that supply pulp and the pulp supply’s country of origin.
By registering Resolute papers with PREPS, our brands are listed on the database used by the production teams of major book and journal publishers. And this star-rating system is used to make paper buying decisions. Currently, five Resolute pulp and paper mills produce paper brands that are rated three and five stars by PREPS.
What mills are PREPS-rated?
All of the listed products sold using Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) credits from our Thorold (Ontario), Alma and Kénogami (Quebec), as well as Calhoun and Catawba (U.S.) mills have a five-star PREPS rating. All of our other listed brands from those mills have received a three-star rating in light of the chain-of-custody tracking requirements they adhere to. That’s how our customers know that the wood fiber we use comes from responsible sources.
Another reason for our high ratings across the board is that we only harvest in Canada and the U.S. Both countries have strict environmental and forestry laws and regulations.
And that’s important because PREPS considers both Canada and the U.S. to be low-risk countries based on an assessment of deforestation rates, perceptions of corruption and how well they prevent the import of wood products from other high risk countries. With one recent estimate pinning the harvest of illegal timber at more than 100 million cubic metres per year, publishers rely on tracking fiber supplies and strong national policies to help avoid unethical paper sources.
PREPS also considers the species of trees harvested by each operation, flagging endangered varieties so that publishers can make an informed decision to source their products from abundant and unthreatened species like the Loblolly pine in the U.S. and the Black Spruce in Canada.
Since PREPS was formed, it has grown to twenty-two members and its grading system has continued to evolve with changes in the sector. Today the PREPS database holds information on fossil fuel CO2 emissions and water consumption at the paper mill level, as well as continuing to hold information on the forest sources that go in to each paper.