How we turned the page on old paper.
IF YOU LOOK CLOSELY AT THIS EDITION OF THE MAGAZINE AND COMPARE it to its recent predecessors you may notice something different. Sure, the stories about the life of the university are all here. There are lots of great pictures, too. All of the elements that we always strive for are present. The difference is in the actual paper.
Going back to the last issue, I noticed a bit of a trend developing. Among our readers a few—not a great wave but enough to notice—politely came forward and asked that they be removed from our mailing list. You see, they said, we’re trying to cut down on our paper consumption.
It was comments like those that underscored what we’ve all been thinking as so much public attention has shifted to the issues of global climate change, human contributions to greenhouse gases, and the general question of how we treat the environment.
We still believe in the power of the printed word: it’s portable, sharable, clip-able and it reproduces photos brilliantly. And it’s recyclable.
But even the publishers of the Victoria’s Secret catalogue are going green. It became pretty obvious that we had to do our part.
And so when we sought out our printing contract for the 2007 editions we asked our friends at Mitchell Press in Vancouver to help us find an appropriate paper stock that had a significant amount of recycled content and the strength to stand up to the process required for a print run of our size.
What we came up with is the paper stock that you’re reading from now.
It contains 30 per cent post-consumer recycled content and it holds Forest Stewardship Council certification.
The FSC is an international, independent, not-for-profit organization of social, environmental and business concerns. The FSC standards are widely endorsed and supported by environmental groups such as the Rainforest Alliance, WWF Canada and ForestEthics.
The FSC logo that we are entitled to print (in the masthead opposite this column) is our assurance that the paper comes from an environmentally and socially responsible source. Each step of the process in creating the paper has been audited and approved—from the harvesting of the trees to mill production and processing. And the cost is essentially the same as our former (albeit higher quality) paper stock.
Using calculations based on research by the Environmental Defense Fund, the switch to our new paper stock means that we have saved the equivalent of 45 trees, 17,000 litres of water and 3,300 kg of greenhouse gas in producing this issue alone.
As always, we welcome your comments on this or anything else that strikes you about the magazine.