Children’s publishing, education and media company Scholastic purchased over half of its paper from Forest Stewardship Council-approved sources last year, surpassing its 35 percent target for 2012 one year early, the company has announced.
In 2011, Scholastic purchased 79,485.5 tons of paper of which 42,357 tons, or 53.3 percent, was FSC-certified, up from 3.6 percent in 2007. Scholastic said this achievement is due to its staff, suppliers and the mills it uses.
The company first announced a 2012 FSC goal in January 2008, when it said it would increase the amount of FSC-certified paper purchased for its publications to 30 percent and the use of recycled paper to 25 percent, of which 75 percent would be post-consumer waste.
Having made gains toward the FSC goal between 2008 and 2011, Scholastic increased the target to 35 percent of all paper purchased.
But the company does not appear on track to meet its goal for recycled paper. Last year 13,249 tons, or 16.7 percent, of the fiber used to produce Scholastic’s paper was recovered waste paper, up from 13.5 percent in 2007.
Of that amount, 10,117 tons, or 76.4 percent, was produced from post-consumer waste, down from 80.7 percent in 2007.
The slight decrease in the amount of recycled content purchased year over year is the result of a continued decrease in the average amount of recycled fiber used by the manufacturers of recycled paper, the company said. Scholastic is working to find alternative ways to make up the additional recycled fiber. It also called on manufacturers to offer paper with high recycled and post-consumer content, to make it easier for companies who use paper to run sustainable businesses.
According to the latest sustainability report from paper company Cascades, that company’s efforts to source recycled fibers have been somewhat hampered by a record increase in the cost of recycled fibers over the course of 2011. The proportion of recycled fiber Cascades uses remained virtually static from 2010 to 2011.
In the latest sustainability report from paper industry body the American Forest & Paper Association, industry members reported sourced 24 percent of their fiber from third-party certified sources in 2011, and increased fiber procured through certified fiber sourcing programs to 96 percent in 2010 from 87 percent in 2005.
The amount of paper consumed in the United States in 2011 that was subsequently recovered and recycled increased 5.3 percent between 2009 and 2011, the report says. In 2011, 66.8 percent of all paper consumed in the US was recovered for recycling, according to the AF&PA’s 2012 sustainability report.