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Next Generation LCA Reveals One Hundred Times Lower Impact on Global Climate for 100% PCW Recycled Coated Paper vs. Virgin

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Boston, Vancouver – Today at Sustainable Brands’ New Metrics conference, New Leaf released a new Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) revealing significant environmental benefits of Reincarnation (100% PCW recycled coated paper) over alternatives made with virgin wood fiber. The study, conducted by SCS Global Services, is the first in the paper industry to use a new LCA standard designed to improve the accuracy, transparency, and comparability of LCA analyses.

“Though all paper production has an environmental impact, this study clearly shows that recycled papers are better for forests, species, freshwater systems and the climate,” observes Nicole Rycroft, Founder and Executive Director of international environmental organization Canopy. “This Life Cycle Analysis equips customer companies with all they need to be able to choose the best ecopapers to meet their sustainability goals.”

The LCA reveals significant differences in the impact of 2,500 tons of New Leaf Reincarnation paper versus virgin coated paper. Key findings include:

  • Has less than one percent of the impact in terms of Global Climate Change and Ocean Acidification,

  • Avoids impacts from logging on more than 100 endangered species,

  • Uses one quarter of the water used to manufacture virgin coated paper,

  • Has no impacts on rivers or wetlands from recurring logging of large forest tracts, and

Avoids harvesting of at least 12,000 acres of multiple forest types.

“Having waited a lot time for a rigorous, holistic LCA standard, we immediately requested a full LCA for New Leaf Reincarnation, our 100% post-consumer recycled coated paper, along with LCAs for comparable virgin coated papers produced at three North American mills,” said Jeff Mendelsohn, founder of New Leaf Paper.

“New Leaf is proud to be driving transparency in the paper supply chain by commissioning this study featuring new methodology,” added Mendelsohn. “This study considers the full range of impacts and benefits, including incorporating the latest findings in climate science. It is a comprehensive and fair comparative analysis that sets a new baseline for future LCAs.”

Canopy and New Leaf Paper have collaborated together for years to bring leading-edge ecopapers to market including their work on the 100% recycled paper that made the North American edition(s) of the Harry Potter book series a groundbreaker in green book publication.

The study comes in the midst of a sustained push by numerous forest industry players to promote virgin fiber papers and undermine customers’ perceptions of recycled papers.

“The study's findings reinforce the importance of improving North America’s paper recycling system,” added Canopy’s Rycroft. “Given the superior ecological qualities of recycled paper, it is imperative that we bolster North American recycled paper production by curtailing recycled fiber exports and improving the quality of recovered fiber available to mills.” 


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