GFSmith and the environment
Paper is a natural and sustainable resource; after all, it's recyclable and biodegradable, but by dealing in papers from sustainable sources, GFSmith is fundamentally an environmentally friendly business. However, that is not enough. To further uphold our responsibility in this respect, we are involved in a wide-ranging internal programme of environmental initiatives.
Crucially, GFSmith is one of the 100 members of 'Two Sides', an initiative by companies from the graphic communications industry to promote the responsible production and use of print and paper. Recycling is crucial to all environmental efforts, and having invested in recycling baling equipment, we are committing ourselves to a long-term recycling programme – but not just of paper. In our offices, factory and warehouses we recycle card, plastic and cans (like everyone else), but also chemicals, toner, IT equipment, batteries, florescent lamps, timber and steel. Energy usage is equally high on the agenda, and we have recently undertaken a complete overhaul of our lighting system. By installing Chalmor Intelligence T5 lamps, the company has reduced its carbon emissions by 87%. This project formed a key element in a raft of measures to help us reduce our carbon footprint, but we are also working closely with the Carbon Trust and we are in the process of evaluating ISO 14001 certification.
We are proud to confirm that all GFSmith papers have a low environmental impact in their manufacture, and many carry specific environmental accreditations, which are detailed in our Selector and on the product specification sheets available on request.
In paper terms, the key environmental concern is the source. We are pleased to verify that many of GFSmith's ranges, including Colorplan and most of our Smooth and Textured papers, are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This means that they are made with, or contain, pulp that comes from FSC well-managed forests, and follows a certified chain of custody that tracks the timber through every stage in the supply chain from the forest to the final user.
Another key issue is the bleaching of pulp. Nearly all GFSmith papers made from virgin fibre are either classified as Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF), or Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF), which means the bleaching process avoids the use of harmful Chlorine, or avoids the use of Chlorine altogether.
The paper industry as a whole is one of the largest users of renewable energy, and GFSmith's sources are no exception. For example, our Mohawk papers are made using Windpower, whereby all the electricity used in the manufacturing process is offset by clean, renewable wind power. This means that such products can be classified Carbon Neutral.
In the main we promote papers made from virgin pulp, sourced from forests where trees are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally, but we also look out for good recycled papers too. Several GFSmith ranges include stocks that are wholly, or partly, manufactured from post consumer waste (PCW).