Solaris Paper Takes Positive Steps Toward Sustainability
Solaris Paper, a towel and tissue manufacturer is partnered with Asia Pulp & Paper as part of their vertical business model. Basically, APP grows, harvests and produces the pulp and paper which Solaris converts into quality away-from-home towel and tissue products. Solaris products include the Livi and Nvi lines of products.
Historically, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) has faced some harsh criticism on it’s sustainability practices. They were the center of many environmental controversies about their deforestation practices, operations encroaching on protected wildlife and illegal logging of protected trees. Greenpeace held many campaigns against them, the FSC cut it’s ties with them, and they had a failed WWF partnership. It was a pretty bleak situation.
Turning a New Leaf
In 2012, things began to turn around. APP announced their “Sustainability Road-map Vision 2020 plan” which outlined their new sustainability practices. They pledged to be completely reliant on plantations, instead of cutting existing forests. They would also require suppliers to comply with HCVF standards by the year 2015. They announced that all nine of its Indonesian mills had received SVLK timber legality certification, a chain of custody certification showing mills only process from legal sources.
In 2013 APP formed a partnership with non-profit organization The Forest Trust, which helped determine areas of forest for protection and collaboratively designed APP’s Forest Conservation Policy, a zero deforestation plan. Greenpeace agreed to halt its global campaign against APP. The Rainforest Action Network and other NGOs welcomed these changes in policy.
Most recently APP has pledged to restore and conserve one million hectares (roughly 2.5 million acres) of rainforest in Indonesia by protecting threatened wildlife, creating animal habitats and sanctuaries, and protecting and expanding natural forests in nine targeted areas across the country. They continue to invest in forestry research and technology in order to optimize growth and land-use output.
APP went from a bleak situation to leading the charge in sustainability practices and transparency in forest conservation.
New Frontier of Sustainability
There exists a long-standing belief that recycling and using paper products with post-consumer percentages are the best options to minimize your environmental footprint. However that notion is being reconsidered, as innovation in the paper industry is unearthing even more sustainable options. Producing paper products with recycled content is a very energy and labor intensive process. It includes pick up and delivery of used and soiled paper to mills, conversion back to pulp, de-inking with harsh chemicals, re-manufacture and finally redistribution of finished products. The culmination of these processes, while still a good practice, are proving to have more of an environmental impact than previously thought.
Sustainable paper production and consumption can begin even before paper is recycled with the use of a rapidly renewable fiber (RRF). An RRF is defined as any fiber with a harvest cycle of ten years or less. Paper made with RRF uses environmentally friendly trees like Eucalyptus and Acacia trees grown on plantations. They are optimized to save energy while protecting old-growth forests.
These types of trees reach maturity much faster than old growth trees, normally 6-8 years vs. 15-50 years. Young, fast-growing trees also tend to absorb more carbon dioxide than old growth trees, as they use the carbon in order to grow. Solaris products on average use 80% of their fiber from sustainably grown Eucalyptus and Acacia trees. The other 20% are from production forests that are certified as sustainable through the PEFC. APP paper mills are also minimizing their carbon footprint with something know as the “green cycle concept” which places plantations within close physical proximity to their pulp/paper mills.
Because of these changes by their supply partner, along with a commitment to a sustainable business model, Solaris Paper has become the industry leader in rapidly renewable fiber development. They meet the U.S. Green Building Council LEED standards and are showing they are committed to becoming a leader in sustainability.
For more information on Solaris Products, click here to access the Solaris Paper catalog or other PDF sell sheets.
© Copyright 2015 Amy Ullsperger, All rights Reserved. Written For: DSR Sales Support Blog