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Many of us make a conscious effort to print sustainably. Going green is certainly not easy when it comes to paper supplies. Green and recycled paper is often more expensive than virgin paper made from pulp sourced directly from trees.

For some time now, in Web and Print Production (WPP), we have been wanting to lean towards sustainable printing. So we thought what better way to start the new year than by jumping on the green bandwagon and shifting our print supplies from coated stock to uncoated recycled stock.

There are many benefits to recycled stock.

  • It helps conserve natural resources. The process of manufacturing recycled paper consumes up to 50% less energy and 60% less water.
  • Using recycled stock reduces the amount of waste going to landfills.
  • It helps reduce our reliance on natural forests.
  • It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which are produced as paper biodegrades in landfill.
  • Buying recycled paper is a way of supporting the economy and diversity of secondary markets, which also helps to provide jobs in the recycling industry.
  • Recycled stock is marginally bulkier, which gives it a more substantial feel. The opacity of most recycled stocks is high, which prevents a show-through if the right gsm (grams per square metre) is chosen.

From all the various uncoated recycled stock available out there, the product we found that is best suited to our needs in terms of costs and environmental credentials is the ENVI Recycled 50/50.

We recommend going with ENVI paper for the following reasons:

  • It’s Australian made – this means we can avoid the environmental impacts associated with transporting stock from overseas paper mills.
  • It is Certified Carbon Neutral.
  • Australian Paper (the manufacturer) is an ISO 14001 certified mill.
  • It comes in the most commonly used gsm range for text, which is 120gsm and 140gsm.
  • It is ‘FSC Mixed Source’ certified (by the Forest Stewardship Council), which means the wood fibre is obtained from responsibly managed resources.
  • It contains 50% post-consumer waste and is certified by PEFC (the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification).
  • It is made from Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) pulp derived from sustainably managed forests and non-controversial sources.
  • Our current stationery is also printed on ENVI 50/50 recycled paper.

As the various publications we work on throughout the year are printed in different sizes and formats, I have developed a set of guidelines that can help us keep our publications consistent.

Most publications will be printed on uncoated stock. The main exception is faculty prospectuses. It was agreed in the Marketing Operations Committee (MOC) meeting that these should be printed on a mix of coated stock (for covers) and uncoated stock (for text pages). To further prolong the life of these brochures, the covers will be cello-glazed.

  • For more information on the paper stocks you can use for your publications please refer to the guidelines on the Marketing & Communications website.
  • For help preparing images for uncoated stock, please refer to WPP's graphic designer Rhys Holland's guidelines.

Generally, recycled stock is more expensive, so we expect to pay about 20% more for ENVI Recycled 50/50 compared to the satin stock we currently use. However, looking at the cost variation for text pages and cover pages, we are recommending Nordset as an alternative uncoated cover stock, to achieve a cost saving in print while still going sustainable. Nordset is FSC certified, ECF free and is a carbon neutral paper.

So there you have a brief run down. I hope this information helps, but if you have any queries, please feel free to email me.

Help us care for the environment and reduce our carbon footprint by printing green next year – the earth will thank you.