Over 20 years ago, it was thought that the paperless office (or close to it) would be a reality by 2011. Ironically, since then print volume has actually increased, as people now print emails, web pages, etc. Additionally, paper used for packaging, tissue products and newsprint demonstrate how prevalent paper usage is in daily activity.
The rich history of the papermaking industry in New Hampshire is presented to exemplify the nega-tive environmental impact the paper industry has created as well as the improvements leaders in the paper industry are making to reduce their carbon footprint and clean up their operations. Indeed, when a Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) is performed, it is revealed how high the carbon footprint and environmental im-pact really are due to the resource-intensive processes required for the making of paper products. LCA affirms that reducing paper consumption and paper packaging of products can have a significant impact on reducing the carbon footprint of an organization, as well as decreasing costs, and there is, in fact, a recent trend to decrease paper consumption in corporations, primarily because of the high costs of pur-chasing paper and printing.
This paper posits that although both papermakers and consumers of paper products are finding new processes and technologies to help them reduce consumption and waste, it is nascent technologies and innovations that have yet to be developed that will ultimately alter the papermaking industry for the bet-terment of the environment. Sustainable solutions are being developed, but more are needed. The deci-sions by corporations and society today will have a lasting impact on the future of paper.
"The Environmental Sustainability of Paper,"
Graduate Studies Journal of Organizational Dynamics:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://repository.upenn.edu/gsjod/vol1/iss1/4