When the Wall Street Journal recently published an article titled ‘Save a forest. Print your emails.'as expected, it raised quite a few eyebrows. As ironic as it may sound, particularly in the face of ‘go green' and ‘avoid printing' campaigns, the author supported the premise through verifiable facts. As the article explained, the paper business supports an entire ecosystem of its own, whichactually helps preserve forestland. Only if paper is consumed can forest landowners grow more trees and expand forestlands. In fact, if demand falls to a miserable low then these very forests would give way to parking lots, commercial offices, shopping malls or residential complexes. Paper is the most basic raw material for any printing services business, from business forms printing to security documents printing. Responsible printers ensure that they buy their raw materials from vendors who engage in a large amount of afforestation and other environment friendly activities like clonal farming. For instance, Tamil Nadu Newsprint & Papers Ltd. (TNPL) manufactures various kinds of paper which are bought by different printing service providers as raw material. Apart from engaging in afforestation, TNPL makes paper primarily from bagasse (sugarcane waste), using as little wood as possible. The organization uses renewable raw materials with minimum impact on the environment.
Similarly, West Coast Paper Mills, one of India's oldest and largest producers of paper for printing and writing, engages in farm forestry on degraded and unproductive land, using a method called clonal technology. The Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills Ltd. takes this a step further by not only promoting farm forestry but also employing local communities and tribal women. ITC- Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (ITC-PSPD), the largest manufacturer of Packaging and Graphic Boards in South Asia is also a carbon positive company due to its plantation activities. Their large scale engagements in clonal plantations have been able to mitigate environmental degradation by a great degree. Apart from obvious environmental benefits, these plantations reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air which is a green house gas contributing to global warming. This also adds to moisture conservation, groundwater recharge and significant reduction in topsoil losses due to wind and water erosion. In the long run it positively affects soil fertility of a previously degraded and unproductive land.
Digital printers, offset printers, business stationery suppliers, FMCG companies and media houses form a small chunk of the customer base for paper mills. This paper is used for printing business forms (letterheads, invoices, challans), security documents (bank cheques, demand drafts, share certificates, bond certificates) and other vital business documents. The issue of concern should not be about limiting paper consumption but rather about selecting the right vendor for your printing services business.
All in all, paper is a highly renewable, recyclable and sustainable resource. It not only helps its end users but is also the backbone of an entire industry of employment, environment management and ecology. So the next time you need a hardcopy of a file, print it guilt free.
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