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Sustainable purchasing

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When purchasing building materials and paper-products, informed consumer choices can make a big difference to our forests. You don't have to threaten the habitat of endangered species or old growth forest every time you build or use paper. The Wilderness Society's forest campaign is informing people how to make these choices.

When purchasing building materials and paper products, informed consumer choices can make a big difference to our forests. You don’t have to threaten the habitat of endangered species or old growth forest every time you build or use paper.

Now, consumers have the opportunity to choose forest-friendly paper and timbers, and a major part of The Wilderness Society’s forest campaign is informing people how to make these choices. Alternatives from plantation and recycled timbers and paper are just as good, and don’t rely on logging native forests.

 

Choosing environmentally friendly building materials

See the following links for information on finding and purchasing forest-friendly timbers and building materials.

The Ecospecifier site provides a source listing of over 3000 environmentally preferable materials, products, resources and technologies. It also provides a portal for eco-materials research.

The Aurora Guide (pdf download) has been compiled by staff at RMIT’s Centre for Design listing sources of environmentally preferred building materials.

The Forest Stewardship Council site provides a listing of all companies certified by the FSC.

 

Choosing environmentally friendly paper

Confused by conflicting information surrounding which environmentally friendly office paper to use? There are a few crucial things to consider when choosing an environmentally friendly paper.

  • Paper should be manufactured without chlorine bleaching. Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) is better, but Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) or Process Chlorine Free for recycled paper is the best option.
  • The ‘recycled’ label can be misleading. Choose a recycled paper that uses fibre derived from post-consumer waste rather than pre-consumer waste. Pre-consumer waste may be waste from mills or off cuts from printers consisting of virgin pulp.
  • If there is a non-recycled component ensure the fibre comes from well managed plantations certified or exceeding the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards.
  • If the label doesn’t list the country of origin, don’t purchase it.
  • Check the corporation producing the paper has a commitment towards forests and is actively reducing environmental impacts (ie: targeting to reduce water and energy usage).

Remember to recycle your paper! If your office is not doing so, call VISY 1300 368 479 or one of the smaller paper recyclers to organise recycling. Make a conscious effort to reduce reliance on paper and cut down paper usage.

Recycled paper requires approximately 90 per cent less energy to manufacture than paper made from trees. There are five recommended brands of high quality recycled paper in available in Australia.

Evolve

100% recycled post-consumer waste.
Photocopy white & coloured A4, A3. Evolve Office for high volume printing and copying and Evolve Business for use in colour copiers
PCF - process chlorine free bleaching Made in the UK

Suppliers:
SCRAP deliver Australia wide, discounts available 02 9825 1062
ecocern 02 9337 2737 Going Solar 03 9348 1000 CPI 03 9239 3600
Office Choice Australia 1300 360 213

Vision - Pure White

100% recycled post-consumer waste
White A4 and A3, recommended for black and white double or single sided photocopiers and printers.
Also Vision Magic Colours, 10 tints available PCF -process chlorine free bleaching Made in Germany

Suppliers:
Office Choice Australia 1300 360 213
OfficeMax Australia 03 9518 5600
Special Equipment 02 9609 2300 (NSW) 07 3348 2266 (QLD)

Fuji Xerox recycled supreme

100% recycled post-consumer waste
Photocopy white, A4, A3
Other colours available
PCF -process chlorine free bleaching

Suppliers:
Fuji Xerox 13 14 11

OfficeWorks Recycled 100%

100% recycled post-consumer waste
Photocopy white A4 only
PCF -process chlorine free bleaching

Supplier:
OfficeWorks 1300 OFFICE

Enviro Board Paper (Botany)

100% recycled, high percentage post-consumer waste
Printing paper, uncoated, off-white/brown
PCF -process chlorine free

Suppliers:
ecocern 02 9337 2737
Raleigh Paper 03 9558 0500

Cyclus

Printing, highly quality paper 100% recycled, approximately 75 per cent post and 25 per cent pre-consumer waste
PCF -process chlorine free

Supplier:
CPI 03 9239 3600

 

Update

Australian Paper is now making a 100% recycled paper. However, Australian Paper still receives wood for many of its products from areas of forest considered of high conservation value. Australian Paper are a major customer of VicForests, a government body which oversees the subsidised industrial logging of Victoria's native forests, including old growth forests, water catchments and habitat for endangered species. As such, The Wilderness Society does not recommend Australian Paper's products. This position will be re-assessed if Australian Paper removes Victoria's high conservation value forests from its wood supply and publicly commits to a transtion out of native forests into plantations.

For comprehensive information about recycled paper and where to purchase these products, please download the following Guide to Environmental Copy Paper (both in emailable and printable versions – if you're printing this guide, please do it on recycled double sided paper.)

Download version for viewing on-screen (PDF, 0.7mb)
Download printable version (PDF, 0.6mb)