1 November 2023
The Carbon Footprint of Paper Explained
 Platform for buyers and suppliers of paper data on sustainable procurement.
Platform for buyers and suppliers of paper data on sustainable procurement.
The printing industry relies on the use of paper, it’s useful to understand the carbon footprint of paper. Paper suppliers that furnish data to EPAT can provide not only the overall carbon footprint (greenhouse gas or GHG emissions), but also to break it down into the three scopes of GHG:
Scope 1 emissions cover emissions from sources that an organization owns or controls directly.
Environmental Paper Assessment Tool
Environmental Paper Assessment Tool
The most common emissions from a paper mill are due to combustion of fuels on site to produce steam for drying paper.Paper mills often have access to wood waste such as bark and sawdust, which are considered renewable energy sources and their CO2 emissions are not considered to be GHG because the carbon has been stored in trees for a very short length of time on the geological scale. 
Scope 2 emissions come from purchased energy. In a paper mill this is typically electricity or steam. The carbon footprint of electricity generation in the area where the paper mill is located has a large effect on Scope 2 emissions.
Scope 3 emissions represent all other emissions up and down the value chain. Examples from upstream of a paper mill would be the energy used to harvest wood, produce chemicals, and transport raw materials to the mill. Examples downstream would include transportation to the customer as well as emissions from usage and final disposal. Scope 3 emissions can only be approximated.  Information on carbon footprint is just one important aspect. www.epat.org
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