What is Paper Profile?
Paper Profile is a uniform declaration for presenting key environmental product information. The scope of the reported information is the pulp and paper production including also e.g. product composition and emissions. In addition, this voluntary-based declaration includes information about environmental aspects of wood procurement and environmental management systems.
What criteria are reported in a Paper Profile?
The Paper Profile presents the key parameters used when relating paper production to its environmental aspects. There are specific rules set how to collect, calculate and present the information. The aim of the Paper Profile concept is to allow paper producers to openly present environmental information of their products in this standardised uniform way.
The key parameters that are declared in the Paper Profile relate to the production of pulp and paper. The Paper Profile provides those parameters that are considered to give the best general picture of a mills environmental performance to authorities and thereby gives a good environmental characteristic of a specific product on one single page.
How has Paper Profile been developed? Which parties were involved in the process?
Since the early 90’s environmental product declarations have been in the development by European pulp and paper producers. During the development process also the associations of paper industry, paper distributors, printers and publishers were consulted. Nearly ten years later Paper Profile concept was agreed upon by nine of Europe’s leading manufactures of paper products. The contents of Paper Profile are continuously improved based on the feedback received.
Who can benefit from the Paper Profile?
Paper Profiles enables the professional paper buyer to make well informed product choices. It covers central environmental parameters of the pulp and paper production including e.g. product composition and emissions. Being a product declaration, Paper Profile is not recommended to be used by stakeholders interested in the complete local or regional impact of a specific paper mill.
What do I get from the Paper Profile?
Being a product declaration, Paper Profile presents in an open and uniform way the most relevant environmental parameters related to papermaking. Compiled to an A4 sheet it gives a good and easily readable overview of the environmental characteristic of a specific product. Paper Profile enables the professional paper buyer to make well informed product choices.
How do the Paper Profile companies ensure the reliability of the data? How is the quality of the data assured in the Paper Profile forms? Is it verified?
The figures presented in the Paper Profile come from the mill’s data collection system, which is used for monitoring environmental performance and legal compliance. The Paper Profile data can be verified by an external auditor/verifier as part of the audit of a mill’s environmental management system or within a separate verification process. In that case an external independent auditor has checked and verified the figures and the calculation of the Paper Profile in question. If the Paper Profile is verified, the verifier’s logo is shown on the upper right corner of the form.
What are the differences between Eco-labels and Paper Profile?
Paper Profile openly declares figures of the most relevant environmental parameters related to paper making, while specific parameter figures of an Eco-label are usually not publicly available. Eco-labels indicate that the product in question fulfils a certain criteria, set and/or verified by an independent third party. Paper Profile enables the user to do their own judgements, based on their priorities. Like Paper Profile, Eco-labels are voluntary.
How does the Paper Profile differ from an Environmental Statement, e.g. such as EMAS statement/EMAS report?
The environmental information in Paper Profile is intended to meet the needs of the professional paper buyer that wants to know more about the environmental performance of a specific product. It is a transparent and unified way of presenting product-related information. Environmental Statements like the EMAS report present the local environmental conditions at a mill site and explain how the mill continuously improves its environmental performance. Paper Profile’s product specific figures include both paper and pulp production, even if the pulp is produced on another site than the paper.
Is there a link between Paper Profile and environmental management systems like EMAS or ISO 14001?
Not automatically. Environmental Management Systems (EMS) like EMAS and ISO 14001 are mill-site related systems ensuring continuous improvement of the environmental performance within a systematic framework of environmental policies and programmes. EMAS differs slightly from ISO 14001 by requiring public available environmental statements. Besides monitoring environmental performance and legal compliance, the mill’s data collection system can be used to provide figures also for the Paper Profile. These figures can be verified as part of the EMS audit. The EMS status of the mill is indicated on the Paper Profile form.
Carbon Footprint vs. CO2 (fossil) air emissions
In the Paper Profile data sheet the CO2 (fossil) emissions are calculated from fossil fuels used both at the paper mill on site and at the pulp mill (integrated or external) for the heat and electrical power generation. The Paper Profile datasheet does not include data on Carbon fossil emissions associated with the generation of the stated purchased electrical power.
It does not either include other greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production process of raw materials, transportation of raw materials to the pulp and paper mills nor delivery of the finished product to it’s final destination.
Carbon Footprint is a more broad reporting tool. The system boundaries, conversion factors and cutoff criteria of the Carbon Footprint calculations are not yet internationally standardised.
Can I compare products based on the information given in the Paper Profile form?
Paper Profile enables the reader to find information about aspects of specific interest to them. When using the Paper Profile one should note that different products have different environmental characteristics, depending on the production processes applied. Local environmental conditions of the production site can be important aspects to take into account. This is why Paper Profile is not necessarily suitable for a direct comparison or ranking of products.
If you did not find answers to your questions, kindly contact the Paper Profile Secretariat.