Paper Profile, a practical tool for sourcing sustainable pulp and paper

Since the early 1990’s European pulp and paper producers have led the way in communicating environmental product declarations. During the development of these tools the associations of the paper industry, paper distributors, printers and publishers were consulted. After nearly ten years of development the Paper Profile concept was agreed by nine of Europe’s leading manufacturers of paper products. Since then this uniform declaration has been developed and continuously improved in co-operation with distributors, industry associations, and leading pulp, paper and paperboard manufacturers.

“We find the Paper Profile-document to be an excellent way of sharing information about our paperboards and the sustainability aspects of them. Our annually revised and externally verified Paper Profile documents are also much appreciated by our customers as being very informative and as also enabling a follow-up of our products ’main environmental features’ development.”  – Anne Uusitalo, Director, Product Safety & Sustainability, Metsä Board Corporation

Paper Profile is a uniform declaration for presenting key environmental product information, and also a registered trademark in many countries around the world. The scope of the information it reports pulp, paper and paperboard production including also e.g. product composition and emissions. In addition, this voluntary-based declaration includes information about the environmental aspects of wood procurement and environmental management systems.  Paper Profile summarises together those parameters that are considered to give the best overall picture of a mill’s environmental performance to stakeholders and in a very simple format it presents environmental characteristics of a specific product on one single page.

The figures presented in the Paper Profile are taken from a mill’s data collection system, which are used for monitoring environmental performance and legal compliance. The leading manufacturers that participate in Paper Profile are committed to minimising their environmental impact. The aim of the Paper Profile concept is to allow pulp, paper and paperboard producers to openly present environmental information about their products in a standardised and uniform way. Paper Profiles therefore enable the professional pulp, paper and paperboard buyer to make well-informed product choices based on comparable information.

The Paper Profile template is intended to be used solely by Paper Profile member companies. Member companies are responsible for the data published on their Paper Profiles. A Paper Profile for a specific product can be requested by pulp, paper and paperboard buyers directly from member companies.

 “Lenzing Papier is a member of Paper Profile because it is a strong communication platform to show the world that paper is a sound ecological product.” – Gregor Pamminger, Quality Manager, Lenzing Papier GmbH

Currently there are 18 major paper industry companies in Europe, which are guiding this initiative through a Paper Profile Steering Committee: Arctic Paper, BillerudKorsnäs, Burgo Group, Papeteries de Clairefontaine, Holmen Paper, International Paper, Kotkamills, Laakirchen Papier, Lecta, Lenzing Papier, Metsä Board, Mondi, The Navigator Company, Norske Skog, Sappi, SCA, Stora Enso and UPM. Forest Products Engineers – PI, a leading pulp and paper industry association from Finland, acts as a secretariat of Paper Profile.

“It has been inspiring to work with such a group of international sustainability experts. No matter if we have met physically or digitally, the 18-person group has collaborated successfully together to improve the visibility of forest products’ sustainability.”  – Natalia Musina, Project Manager, Forest Products Engineers – PI, Paper Profile Secretary

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