More than twelve years ago, paper industry professionals said that Rolland had lost its mind. In 2004, we launched a recycled copy paper that many claimed customers would not buy. Today, that paper – Rolland Enviro – represents more than half of our production. So, how did Rolland become convinced it was on the right track? With environmental studies, such as the Life Cycle Assessments (LCA).
Environmental claims need to be more than blue skies and marketing-driven messages. At Rolland, we prefer using credible, science-based information to prove our point – and our products. And we have chosen to support our decisions with an LCA.
A systems-based, quantitative method for evaluating the environmental impact of a product, a Life Cycle Assessment examines a product’s life from raw material extraction through material processing, manufacturing, distribution and disposal.
After first addressing our carbon footprint in 2008, we launched our initial LCA in 2011. Now, we have updated and released our latest LCA.
Our objective has always been to compare the environmental footprint of our papers to the industry average – not only to measure our processes and commitments, but to strengthen our business. We understand how an LCA benefits Rolland and our customers.
Life Cycle Assessments provide scientific proof behind the manufacturing and the marketing communication of our products. By focusing on the most significant environmental impacts of our processes, we can develop and evaluate sustainability programs and policies. By measuring the environmental impacts of raw materials sourcing, operations and transportation, we can make decisions that affect long-term results for our business and our customers. Lastly, an LCA helps us to engage with end-users to reduce a product’s impact throughout its life and at disposal – hopefully a recycling bin.
The number one conclusion of our LCA is that Rolland Enviro has the smallest environmental footprint when compared to average papers being produced in North America. That’s mainly because it is made from 100% recycled fiber, processed without chlorine, and uses renewable energy – hydroelectricity and biogas. A local and renewable energy source that replaces natural gas, biogas comes from decomposing waste from a nearby landfill site. It is captured, compressed and brought by pipeline to the mill to power the papermaking machinery.
Although we draw energy from low emission sources, we are also committed to finding ways to further reduce our water and energy use. At Rolland, we believe that a more comprehensive, scientific approach to the bigger picture makes for a smaller footprint.
Among the various ways to conduct an LCA, we have chosen to apply credible ISO 14040-14044 standards. And because we are publishing a comparative study, it has been reviewed by an independent panel of experts who examined its rigor, structure and integrity.
Twelve years ago, Rolland may have been accused of losing its mind for launching a recycled copy paper, but our Life Cycle Assessment clearly shows we would have been crazy not to. Take a look at our latest LCA at Rollandinc.com/LCA.