Environmental Glossary

Alternative Fiber: Plant fibers other than timber that can be used to make paper (e.g. cotton, hemp, bamboo or sugar cane). These fibers may be waste products from other industries or they may be grown specifically for paper making.

Biomass: Waste products from manufacturing, such as bark, black liquor, logging residues and effluent sludge that can be burnt (using a clean incineration process) to use as fuel.

Bio-Sequestration: A method of storing carbon long-term by utilizing forests to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon Credit: Developed as part of the Kyoto Protocol, this measure is the equivalent of reducing one ton of carbon emissions. Carbon credits can be bought or sold through a Carbon Trading Scheme.

Carbon Footprint: The measure of the impact that our activities have on the environment.

Carbon Neutral: Represents a commitment to reduce net emissions to zero (i.e. emissions generated will equal those eliminated). To achieve this, a detailed carbon footprint analysis should be conducted, emissions should be significantly reduced through such methods as reducing energy requirements and utilizing “green energy” sources and finally, offsetting the remaining emissions through an accredited carbon offset scheme.

Chain of Custody: The means of tracking a product along the supply chain. The Chain of Custody will allow a consumer to track paper from the forest of origin, through pulp and paper mill, paper merchant and printer to them, the end user. Often a third party audits the Chain of Custody system.

DIP: De-inked Pulp – pulp consisting of fibers from previously printed paper with ink removed.

ECF: Elemental Chlorine Free. Paper pulp bleached without the use of elemental chlorine, but instead using some chlorine dioxide, along with non-chlorine agents such as oxygen.

FSC®: Forest Stewardship Council™. An international organization promoting responsible forest management, FSC® has developed principles for forest management which may be used for certifying the management of forest holdings, and a system of tracing, verifying and labeling timber and wood products which originate from FSC® Certified forests.

FSC® Mix: Contains a mix of fiber sourced from FSC® Certified forests, combined with fiber from other controlled forest sources, and/or recycled pulp.

FSC® Recycled: Contains 100% post-consumer waste as verified by FSC®.

Post-Consumer Waste:  Post-consumer waste is waste produced by the end consumer of a material stream, particularly when the waste-producing use was not in the production of another product. Quite commonly, this is simply the garbage that individuals routinely discard, either in a trash can or a dump or by littering, incinerating, pouring down the drain, or washing into the gutter.

Pre-Consumer Waste: Waste that has left the mill, but has not reached the end user. Typically trimmings and rejected material from printers, envelope converters, etc. Pre- consumer waste often has not been printed on, requiring less de-inking.

Recycled Paper: Paper products diverted from landfill can be reused to create pulp for another life cycle. Fibers can normally be recycled 5-6 times before they break down. The definitions of “recycled paper” vary considerably from country to country.

Renewable Energy: Energy obtained from sources that can be naturally replenished. Current forms used by paper mills include solar, hydroelectricity (commercial and small-scale), biomass, wave and wind power.

TCF: Totally Chlorine Free is paper pulp that is bleached without using chlorine in any form, thus giving an AOX level of zero. The alternative bleaching agents used might be liquid oxygen, hydrogen peroxide or sodium hydroxide.

Tree-Free: Tree-Free is a description of pulp and paper meaning that they contain little or no mechanically ground fibers. This means that fibers are chemically treated, thereby eliminating lignin (the substance that binds wood fibers together in the tree) and making the product purer, whiter and stronger. Tree-Free is an historical paper-making term shortened from ‘ground wood-free’ and does not denote a paper or pulp made from materials other than wood.

Wind Power: The conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy.

Sources include Conservatree.org and Environmentalpaper.org.