Friday, October 19, 2007

Transcontinental Inc. pledges to promote "environmentally preferable" paper

It's too early to say if this is a tipping point, but the announcement yesterday by Transcontinental Inc., Canada's largest commercial printer, that it would champion "environmentally preferable" papers may be the breakthrough that the green paper movement has been working for. It is the first major North American printer to do so.

The company, which is also the largest publisher of consumer magazines in the country, will "promote the use of paper with maximized post-consumer and de-inked recycled fibre and encourages the use of paper made with pre-consumer recovered fibre or alternative fibres in preference to virgin wood fibre", according to a story in the Montreal Gazette.

"Our goal was to develop a paper-purchasing policy that would promote sustainable development in a tangible way by giving our clients clear choices," company president Luc Desjardins said.

The new policy was developed with input from environmental publishing advocate Markets Initiative.

"Transcontinental is the first major North American print-media conglomerate to take such a comprehensive step toward safeguarding our forests and our climate," said Nicole Rycroft, executive director of Markets Initiative.

In addition to such well-known consumer magazines as Canadian Living, Elle Canada and More, Transcontinental prints La Presse in Montreal and other Canadian and U.S. daily and community newspapers. At least one of Transcontinental Media's titles -- Outdoor Canada -- has made the switch. The announcement did not say that other Transcontinental titles would lead the way for their other printing customers, but that seems compelling and inevitable in light of the announcement.

(See our earlier posts)

Markets Initiative says that, currently, publishers of 74 Canadian magazines are working with them to shift away from papers that contain fibre from the world’s ancient and endangered forests. Less than 5% of magazine paper has any post consumer recycled content and every second, a tree is cut down for use in magazine paper. Canadian periodicals use about 110,000 tons of paper annually, while consumer magazines use an estimated 81,000 tons of paper every year.

The figures are even more dramatic for the newspaper industry: About 1.1 million metric tonnes of newsprint were consumed in Canada in 2004, equivalent to over 12 million trees used to produce Canada’s newspapers alone. Canada's total production of newsprint, including exports, uses almost 95 million trees.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unlimited, which prints at Interweb/Transcon in Montreal, is on FSC/AFF stock, cover to cover.

11:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope this means all Transcontinental magazines will move to recycled stock.

12:49 pm  
Blogger D. B. Scott said...

I don't think that's what they mean, but by taking a leadership position on the issue, I think Transcon will feel the pressure to move more quickly than it might have otherwise.

12:57 pm  

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