PRODUCTION PROCESS : Environment

There are environmental considerations to be assessed throughout the production process of an Annual Report.

Paper

Worldwide, voluntary controls and government regulations now influence the responsible manufacture of papers, so that they conform with strict environmental and quality standards. These controls now operate through the entire paper making process, from well managed forests that are certified and audited, through to paper mills that have adopted environmentally sustainable management practices and operating procedures.

Most of the Australian Paper companies can supply fact sheets on the sustainability of paper.

Printing

One way to ensure that all steps in the print process of your Annual Report are well managed is to look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Chain of Custody certification. The FSC ensures that each step of the process, from plantation, pulp, mill, paper-maker, paper merchant and printer is certified at each stage to meet stringent environmental standards.

More information about the FSC system can be found on the FSC website.

Inks

Ink is a vital part of the printing process and should be carefully considered as an environmental factor when choosing a printer. Soy ink was developed in the 1970’s because traditional oil based inks became so expensive. Since then vegetable based inks have been produced because of their lower environmental impact.

Vegetable-based ink includes soy but it includes other organic matter. Vegetable-based inks are recognized as environmentally better because they are not restricted to one crop. The production process takes the best qualities of different plant matter to make vegetable-based inks.


Paper and the environment

Sustainable timber harvesting is “greenhouse emissions” neutral. In fact Industrial forestry globally absorbs 1 billion tonnes of CO2 annually.

Forests are increasing. For example, in the EU forest coverage is increasing at a rate of 6,000 km2 p.a., in the USA by 2,428 km2 p.a., & in Australia plantation areas grew by 4.7% in 2007.