Paper Products Industry “Green” Glossary

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100% Recycled – Recycled after the papermaking process

Biodegradable – Material that is able to decompose by a natural process

Carbon Footprint – “The total set of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product” (UK Carbon Trust 2008). An individual, nation or organization’s carbon footprint is measured by undertaking a GHG emissions assessment. Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be
devised to reduce it.

Chain-of-Custody Certification – A product that has met certain requirements throughout its life, beginning from its extraction and production all the way to its distribution and sale.

Closed-Loop Recycling – When a used product is recycled into a similar product; a recycling system in which a particular mass of material (possibly after upgrading) is remanufactured into the same product.

Conservation – Preserving and renewing, when possible, human and natural resources. The use, protection and improvement of natural resources according to principles that will ensure their highest economic or social benefits

Dispersion – The scattering or distribution of something within an area or space

Ecological Footprint – A measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. It compares human demand with planet Earth’s ecological capacity to regenerate. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate the resources a human population consumes and to absorb and render harmless the corresponding waste.

Ecology – A branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment.

Elemental Chlorine Free – The elimination of elemental chlorine originally used in the bleaching process and replaced with chlorine dioxide.

Emissions – The release of gases, liquids and/or solids from any process or industry. Liquid emissions are commonly referred to as effluents.

Energy Efficiency – Using less energy to provide the same level of energy service.

Environmental Sustainability – The long-term maintenance of ecosystem components and functions for future generations.

Environmentally Friendly – Goods or services considered to inflict minimal harm on the environment.

Environmentally Preferable Products – Established by Executive Order 13101. Products that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. The product comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing – A United States federal-wide program (Executive Order 13101) that encourages and assists Executive agencies in the purchasing of Environmentally Preferable Products and services.

Green – Presidential Executive Order 13101 defines green as products or services that have a lesser or reduced effect on health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same service.

Green Buildings – Buildings in which environmental considerations are given to design, construction and operation.

Green Cleaning – Cleaning to protect health without harming the environment.

Green Washing – The act of misleading customers regarding the environmental practices of a company, or the environmental benefits of a product or service.

Post-Consumer Content – Material that was collected after products were purchased, used and discarded

Pre-Consumer Content – Material that was collected straight from the source where it was created

Processed Chlorine Free – This term is reserved for recycled content paper. This includes all recycled fibers used as a feedstock that meet EPA guidelines for recycled or post-consumer content. PCF papers have not been re-bleached with chlorine containing compounds. Minimum 30% post-consumer content is required.

Recycled Content – Materials that have been recovered or otherwise diverted from the solid waste stream, either during the manufacturing process (pre-consumer), or after consumer use (post-consumer). Pre-consumer material does not include materials normally reused by industry within the original manufacturing process.

Recycling – The process, by which materials that would otherwise become solid waste are collected, separated or processed and returned to the economic mainstream to be reused in the form of raw materials or finished goods.

Renewable Energy – An energy source that, from an Earth perspective, is continually replenished.

Sustainability – Practices that would ensure the continued viability of a product or practice well into the future.

Sustainable Forest Management (SFM ) – The management of forests according to the principles of sustainable development.

Total Recycled Content – All recycled materials regardless of where they come from and can include manufacturing scraps or waste. This is waste that never leaves the factory before being reused.

Totally Chlorine Free – This term is reserved for virgin fibers. TCF papers do not use pulp produced with chlorine or chlorine containing compounds as bleaching agents.

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