Study: Clear Environmental Benefits From Using Recycled Paper in National Geographic, Other Magazines
Categories studied in ENVIRON's LCA include total CO2-equivalent emissions (i.e. global warming potential), carcinogenicity, eutrophication, wood use, and other elements. The stakeholder group identified four key areas where data variability and assumptions might affect results, namely (1) the amount of energy used in pulping, (2) the fuel mix used in pulping, (3) the environmental impact characterization method used in the model, and (4) the method for allocating recycling benefits in the model. The LCA shows that, even considering the range of possible values for these key areas, using recovered fiber reduces negative environmental impacts for the majority of the environmental impact categories studied.
"This study confirms that the best way for publishers to reduce the environmental impact associated with the paper they buy is to increase recycled content," says Darby Hoover, senior resource specialist, Natural Resources Defense Council. "We hope that National Geographic, as one of the nation's top producers of nature publications, takes immediate steps to incorporate the highest recycled content into their magazine and other paper purchases, and sets goals for continued improvement in its paper attributes over time."
"Keeping mature trees alive and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere is crucial to protecting us from the worst effects of climate disruption, and using recycled paper reduces the pressure to log more trees," said Rod Arakaki, audience development director at YES! Magazine. "Compared to National Geographic, Condé Nast, Time, and Hearst, Yes! is a small circulation publication, and we have a long history of using recycled paper in our magazine. If we can do it, so can they. We encourage them all to begin using recycled paper and to help motivate the rest of the magazine industry to follow."
The report can be found here: http://www.greenamerica.org/pdf/NatGeo-LCA-Report-2013.pdf and the executive summary here: http://www.greenamerica.org/pdf/NatGeo-LCA-ExecSummary-2013.pdf.
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