Press Release: New wheat straw copy paper one of the most environmentally sustainable in North America
New wheat straw copy paper one of the most environmentally sustainable in North America
Paper made from agricultural waste is good news for forests and for farmers
October 25, 2012 – Vancouver, BC – Offsetters, Canada’s leading carbon management solutions provider, released a landmark life cycle comparison research study today. The study compared Prairie Paper’s recently launched wheat straw-based Step Forward Paper™ with other copy paper types available in North America. Research results demonstrate that wheat straw-based paper and 100 per cent recycled tree-fibre paper types have the lowest environmental impact across the seven indicators studied. When using a weighted ranking system for environmental indicators that places greater importance on climate change, Step Forward Paper’s™ wheat straw-based paper is the best performing copy paper type studied with the lowest overall impact.
Step Forward Paper™ is an 80 per cent tree-free sheet of paper made from wheat straw with the remaining 20 per cent made of Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified wood fibre.
“Straw-based copy paper is a great example of an innovative product that uses a by-product from one industry and transforms it into a solution for others,” said James Tansey, CEO and founder of Offsetters. “Offsetters is pleased to recommend Step Forward Paper™ as a sustainable choice for businesses and consumers looking to reduce the environmental impacts associated with paper use.”
The study found that wheat straw-based paper has the lowest environmental impacts with respect to non-renewable energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, wastewater, and aquatic acidification. The research report was reviewed by an advisory panel consisting of three environmental not-for-profit organizations, four industry representatives, and Prairie Paper, which commissioned the report.
Canada’s boreal forest is home to eight of the ten largest intact forest ecosystems left in the world. The boreal forest contains an interconnected ecosystem of plants, animals, insects and microorganisms that interact with the physical environment of soil, water and air. This essential global resource plays a significant role in mitigating climate change by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide.
Fifty per cent of the harvested Canadian boreal forest is currently used to produce paper products. “A key solution to protecting our world’s species and climate is finding fibre that doesn’t come from our last remaining ancient and endangered forests,” said Amanda Carr, Campaign Director with environmental not-for-profit Canopy. The organization has worked collaboratively with over 700 publishers and printers for over a decade to build a market for tree-free papers, and was consulted on the study. “With this research we can assure the companies we work with that wheat straw paper offers clear environmental benefits,” said Carr.
“It’s always been a big concern of mine that paper comes from forests,” said Woody Harrelson, a co-founder and investor in Prairie Paper. The two-time Academy Award nominee and long-time environmental advocate who received an honorary doctorate from York University for his environmental work said, “Step Forward Paper™ is a real plus for the forest and it’s a real plus for the farmers, and it’s going to be great for our future.”
“We are excited that this study provides consumers with objective measures of the relative positive and negative impact of different papers on the environment,” said Jeff Golfman, President of Prairie Paper, which designs and produces the paper. “Our goal is to establish a market that will support our plans to build a new state-of-the-art facility in the Canadian prairies in Manitoba, which will in turn enable us to produce straw copy paper with an even smaller footprint,” said Golfman.
Step Forward Paper™ is now available throughout Canada at 335 Staples stores and online at www.staples.ca. The paper will launch in the U.S. in 2013.
Offsetters is Canada’s leading carbon management solutions provider, based in Vancouver, BC. Founded in 2005, the company helps organizations and individuals understand, reduce, and offset their climate impact. Offsetters was the first official supplier of carbon offsets in the history of the Olympic movement (Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games) and is proud to assist leading organizations manage their carbon footprints including Harbour Air, Vancity, and Aimia (formerly Groupe Aeroplan). For more information and a full list of all of Offsetters clients and achievements, visitwww.offsetters.ca.
About Prairie Paper
Prairie Paper Inc is the industry leader in research, development and commercialization of tree-free pulp and paper for the past 14 years. Based in Manitoba, the entrepreneurial company was founded by Jeff Golfman, Clayton Manness and Woody Harrelson, and is led by President Jeff Golfman and Chairman Clayton Manness. Phase one for the company is the manufacturing and importing of Step Forward Paper™. Phase two will include constructing a 100 per cent tree-free, state-of-the-art eco-mill in the Canadian prairies in Manitoba where millions of tons of leftover straw are readily available. The trademark license code for Prairie Paper is FSC® C109753. For more information visit www.stepforwardpaper.com.
Canopy is a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting the world’s forests, species and climate by advancing sustainable strategies for businesses. Canopy is leading the charge to develop a straw pulp and paper industry in North America, and we believe collaboration is key. The organization works with over 700 large-scale forest product customers to develop purchasing policies, and forge visionary partnerships to promote solutions that meet business goals and protect the world’s forests. For more information visit www.canopyplanet.org.
Alison Murphy, Offsetters: 604-699-2672, email@example.com
Christina Marshall, Prairie Paper: 416-686-4116, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave King, Canopy: 250-580-5583, email@example.com