Magazine publishers receive second annual Eco-Paper Leadership Awards

provided by Independent Press Association

The PAPER (Printing Alternatives Promoting Environmental Responsibility) Project – a coalition of nonprofits Co-op America, the Independent Press Association, and Conservatree – have presented their second annual EcoPaper Leadership Awards to Rodale and EarthLight. On behalf of the coalition, Francis Moore Lappé, environmental activist and author of the book Diet For a Small Planet, presented the award to two publishers for printing on “eco-papers” that have at least 10% post-consumer recycled content for coated papers and 30% post-consumer content for uncoated. The winners are standouts in an industry where more than 95% of publications use no recycled paper at all. The award winners were recognized at the Independent Press Association Conference in San Francisco on January 18.

    “At a time when conserving global natural resources is more important than ever, these magazines are leading the way in demonstrating to the industry that high-quality publications need not destroy forests,” said Susan Kinsella, a national expert on recycled paper and director of Conservatree, which provides information and consulting services on environmental paper procurement and waste reduction. “These winners are promoting smart alternatives to business as usual in an industry where nearly all US magazines are printed on paper made from 100% virgin wood.”

    Rodale received the EcoPaper Leadership Award in the “publishing company” category for using post-consumer recycled paper in six of their publications. “The Rodale mission is to inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them,” said John Kipila, Rodale's corporate purchasing manager. “As a company, we take that mission very seriously and believe you can do good and do well.”

    EarthLight received an EcoPaper Leadership Award in the “individual publication” category for their use of post-consumer, chlorine-free papers. Earth-Light takes part in the IPA's paper-buying co-op, which provides high-quality eco-papers at highly competitive prices. “Doing the right thing has its own rewards – and participating in the IPA paper-buying co-op falls into that category. It has opened the door for us, as a small publisher, to take one more step toward a “post-consumer” culture,” said K. Lauren deBoer, executive editor of EarthLight Magazine. “We are grateful to the people behind the PAPER Project for this award, but especially for making it easier for us to walk our talk about caring for the Earth.”

    The award winners join a distinguished list of publications, including Sierra, YES!, and Amicus Journal, that were honored with the first EcoPaper Leadership Awards. “This award demonstrates that the magazine publishers who want to do the right thing can use eco-papers and maintain high quality at comparable costs to virgin paper,” added John Anner, director of the Independent Press Association. “Beyond that, the PAPER Project has established a paper-buying co-op to assist small publishers in getting recycled paper at a lower cost because the IPA buys the paper in large volumes.”

    In addition to sponsoring the Eco-Paper Leadership Award and the paper-buying co-op, the PAPER Project is establishing an extensive support system for magazine publishers to simplify the transition from virgin pulp to recycled content paper. The Project provides information about forest-friendly papers that are equivalent to a publication's current paper; offers recommendations for ways to improve distribution efficiency, thereby reducing excess circulation and paper waste; and is unveiling a “Paper Wizard” to help publishers calculate how their paper use impacts forests.

    “Technological advances in the recycling industry have broken down all the barriers to using eco-papers,” explains Frank Locantore, WoodWise director for Co-op America, a 55,000-member organization that promotes green businesses and responsible consumption. “Publishers need to understand that the barriers to using recycled paper – cost, quality, and availability – have all been surmounted, and there is no longer reason to print on virgin papers.”

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