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Sense and Sustainability:

A guide to choosing papers that support environmental sustainability Sustainability: Meaning and Matter Better Energy Fairer Fiber, Cleaner Water Putting Good to Use Calculating Impact Seals of Approval Summing Up

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Sustainability means assuring the long-term survival of our planet by conserving and caring for its resources rather than depleting or permanently damaging them. Our growing awareness of the effects of climate change and deforestation makes sustainability and environmental stewardship everyone’s concern today.

Why It Matters

For companies, sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand. A commitment to environmental sustainability makes for good corporate citizenship, which improves a company’s relationship with customers, investors, regulators, neighbors and suppliers. The alternative to environmental responsibility is no longer tolerable. Sustainability is not only good for the earth and its people; it’s increasingly connected to building bottom lines and improving shareholder value.

Paper Making and Paper Use

Because paper manufacturing depends on energy, forests and water, the paper industry has a particular interest in conserving and sustaining these resources so we can meet the demand for the volume of paper our society consumes. One of the most visible ways a company can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability is through the wise choice and use of paper that is made responsibly.


Mohawk Takes the Lead

Mohawk has long taken a proactive approach to environmental stewardship, engaging every employee in the related policies and processes. In our view, energy conservation and the use of emissionfree energy are among the most significant stewardship choices that we can make. We have been a leader in the use of electricity generated by renewable wind power. In 2007 Mohawk joined the EPA’s Climate Leaders program to further develop greenhouse gas emission goals and as an extension of this commitment we began to offer customers carbon neutral paper. Mohawk was also among the first companies to make paper from postconsumer

recycled fiber, and we have steadily expanded and enhanced our recycled papers. We have met high third-party standards to make sure any new fiber we use comes from forests that are managed respectfully. And we have found ways to make paper bright and white without the use of elemental chlorine, keeping its hazardous byproducts out of the water supply. In the following pages, you will learn more about the different standards for sustainability and stewardship in paper making, how these standards are met and exceeded at Mohawk, and how to make sure your paper decisions Sense and Sustainability demonstrate your concern for our shared environment.

Serious About Standards

Mohawk’s Environmental Management System is structured around principles promoted by The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economics (CERES) and uses environmental performance standards developed by the International Organization or Standardization (ISO) for the evaluation of the processes, practices and procedures. As a result, we can systematically meet our own goals as well as specific environmental objectives required by corporate customers as a condition of doing business.


BETTER ENERGY Getting Away from Fossil Fuels

Paper manufacturing requires enormous quantities of electricity, which is traditionally produced by generators run by fossil fuels: coal, oil or gas. Since the combustion of fossil fuel creates carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are contributing to global warming, the urgency of changing to cleaner (emission-free renewable sources of energy has increased. Renewable and therefore sustainable energy sources available today include wind, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and ocean tides.

WIND FARM: a group of windmills positioned on hilly terrains, canyons, shorelines or other locations that experience aboveaverage strong and steady winds. Power generated by wind turbines is fed into the electric grid and replaces electricity generated by fossil fuel. Wind-generated electricity is available to consumers through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) which fund specific wind farms.

Getting to Carbon Neutral

KYOTO PROTOCOL: an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change proposed in 1997 and entered into force in 2005. It is the first, and only, binding international agreement that sets targets to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. The United States is not a signatory to the agreement, although a number of actions are being taken such as the development of the EPA Climate Leaders program.

GREEN-E: the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable products. The voluntary Green-e Program sets consumer protection and environmental standards for energy products. Products carrying the Green-e logo have been certified as meeting these standards. LEARN MORE :

“Carbon neutral” describes products, operations and activities that have had their carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions 1) calculated 2) reduced where possible and 3) “offset” through credits that fund renewable, emission-free energy products. A carbon offset credit represents one ton of greenhouse gas emission reductions or avoided emissions. The carbon offset credit market allows businesses to recognize and financially support the shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy. By purchasing these credits, organizations can apply them to their own emissions and reduce their net carbon impact.


The Answer My Friend Is…

Blowing in the wind, literally. Windpower is the fastest growing energy source in the world. At present, it is the least expensive, most developed and fastest to build alternative to fossil fuel. Because wind turbines (aka windmills) use less than 5% of the land where they are sited, they minimize habitat destruction, help preserve open space and allow for multiple uses of the land.

First to Use Windpower

In 2003 Mohawk became one of the first large-scale production facilities in the United States to use renewable, non-polluting wind-generated electricity for manufacturing and this usage increases with time. Today, roughly 60% of the electricity we consume is generated by wind. In terms of environmental impact, our use of windgenerated electricity is equivalent to planting a 15,000 acre forest or NOT driving 119 million miles in a passenger car. Today Mohawk is one of the largest manufacturing companies that purchase wind-generated electricity. All the papers in Mohawk’s windpower portfolio carry the Green-e logo certifying them as the products of renewable energy.

Mohawk’s Carbon Neutral Choices

As of spring 2007, Mohawk’s Beckett Concept and Expression lines of paper are made carbon neutral. The emissions from all of the energy used to make these papers is offset with wind-generated electricity and Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs). Their Green-e certification means they meet the strict environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions. TM

made carbon neutral

Trusted and Verified

The Kyoto Protocol mandates that these offsets must be “real, verifiable and additional to what would have otherwise occurred.” Mohawk’s Verified Emissions Reduction credits (VERs) are third-party verified to meet the standards of the Environmental Resources Trust’s GHG (Greenhouse Gas) Registry. The GHG Registry Standard is based on guidelines developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the international scientific body supporting the Kyoto Protocol.


FAIRER FIBER, CLEANER WATER See the Forest and the Trees

Consequences of clear-cutting and irresponsible forestry include climate change, flooding and loss of biodiversity. Maintaining a healthy supply of trees is particularly important to controlling global climate change because trees and plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide. Today paper mills, forestry companies and environmental groups cooperate to create more responsible practices for sustainable forestry.

Mohawk Knows Its Sources

As a non-integrated paper mill, Mohawk purchases all its processed wood fiber from market sources. Our fiber suppliers have been notified that we will not accept fiber harvested from high-conservation value old growth forests. They are also required to provide documentation demonstrating sound environmental practices and sustainable forestry management. In 2002, Mohawk attained certification by the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC’s) program, allowing us to produce FSCcompliant grades of printing and writing paper.

Is it Virgin?

Paper manufacturing depends on fiber, which in its original state comes directly from wood and is known as virgin fiber. Mills have choices in the types of virgin fiber they use and where it comes from. If the wood comes from a forest that has been certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or for Forest Stewardship Council standards, the paper mill and its customers can be sure that the natural resource has been managed respectfully.


SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY INITIATIVE (SFI): a land stewardship standard developed in 1994 by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) that integrates the reforestation, nurturing and harvesting of trees for useful products with the conservation of soil, air and water resources, wildlife and fish habitat, and forest aesthetics. Adopted by AF&PA members, stakeholders and environmental groups, this initiative has significantly improved forestry practice in the United States. The SFI program is now overseen by the Sustainable Forestry Board, a diverse group of conservationists, scientists, public officials and landowners FSC CHAIN OF CUSTODY: to earn FSC certification, a product made of pulp or paper must pass through a complete “chain of custody” from an FSC-certified forest to an FSCcertified paper manufacturer, merchant and printer. The intent of the FSC system is to shift the market to eliminate habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples and violence against people and wildlife that often accompanies logging.

Or Recycled?

An alternative or complement to virgin fiber, postconsumer recycled fiber is made from reprocessing waste paper that was recovered after being used by a consumer and discarded. The use of recycled fiber reduces pressure on forest land and protects its ability to absorb carbon dioxide. Its production also requires less energy than virgin fiber production.

FOREST STEWARD SHIP COUNCIL (FSC): an organization created in 1993 following the Rio Earth Summit to change the dialogue about and the practice of responsible forestry worldwide. FSC-US was established in 1995 as the American national “chapter” to coordinate the development of forest management standards throughout the different biogeographic regions of the United States, to provide public information about FSC and certification and to work with certification organizations to promote FSC certification in America.

Keeping Water Cleaner

A lot of water passes through the paper making process. In fact, pulp and paper manufacturers are the largest industrial users of water worldwide. In the past, the production of very white and bright paper required the use of pulps that had been bleached with elemental chlorine. This bleaching process resulted in byproducts that have been found to be environmentally hazardous. To reduce these byproducts, pulp producers are increasingly replacing traditional bleaching technologies with ECF or “elemental chlorine free” bleaching processes. At the same time, paper mills are favoring ECF in their raw material specifications.

RAINFORE ST ALLIANCE: the Rainforest Alliance’s mission is to protect ecosystems and the people and wildlife that depend on them by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Companies, cooperatives and landowners that participate in our programs meet rigorous standards that conserve biodiversity and provide sustainable livelihoods.

Over half the paper we use in the United States today gets recovered for recycling, and by 2012 the AF&PA hopes to increase this rate to 55%. To help encourage recycling, a Federal Executive Order updated in 1998 requires all federal agencies to use paper with at least a 30% postconsumer content. Paper companies have responded to the demand for recycled paper with enhanced manufacturing technologies. Today about 35% of fiber used by American paper makers comes from recycled paper, and that number is only going to grow.

A Pioneer on the Recycled Frontier

Leading the Move to ECF

In 1990, Mohawk introduced Mohawk 50/10, the first U.S.-manufactured coated paper made with postconsumer fiber. Mohawk now makes several papers with 100% postconsumer fiber. In 2002, Mohawk launched Options 100% PCW with Inxwell which dramatically improved the print quality on a highly recycled sheet.

Mohawk stopped purchasing pulp bleached with elemental chlorine in the mid-1990’s. Since then all Mohawk paper has been ECF. Mohawk’s papers made with 100% postconsumer recycled fiber meet the more rigorous standards for Process Chlorine-Free (PCF) coding.


TERMS TO KNOW TCF (Totally Chlorine-Free)

means paper made from 100 percent virgin fiber (including alternative fiber from sources other than trees) that is unbleached or bleached with non-chlorine compounds. TCF cannot apply to recycled papers, because the source fiber cannot be determined.

PCF (Process Chlorine-Free)

papers contain postconsumer recycled fiber that was processed without the use of any additional chlorine or chlorine compounds. If these papers also contain a percentage of virgin fiber, the virgin fiber must have been processed without the use of any chlorine or chlorine compounds.

ECF (Elemental Chlorine-Free)

indicates paper made from virgin or recycled fiber that is bleached using alternative chlorine compounds as a substitute for elemental chlorine, which serves to reduce harmful byproducts.


SmartWood, a program of the Rainforest Alliance, is one of several thirdparty certifiers for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and provides the FSC certification and annual audit for Mohawk Fine Papers. Established in 1989, SmartWood was the world’s first independent forestry certifier. In addition to administering the FSC certification, SmartWood also certifies wood and wood products that are responsibly harvested and processed.


an independent, non-profit organization founded in 1989 that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment by identifying and promoting products and services that cause less toxic pollution and waste, conserve resources and habitats, and minimize global warming and ozone depletion. Green Seal is devoted to environmental standardsetting product certification, advertising claims substantiation and public education. Green Seal’s procedures conform to international standards for ecolabeling.


AT-A-GLANCE ECO* GUIDE * All of these featured products are manufactured with wind-generated electricity and are acid free.

BECKETT CONCEPT Concept, 9 whites/colors

100% pcw

Concept, 3 whites BECKETT EXPRESSION Expression, 9 whites/colors

30% pcw

Expression, 4 whites STRATHMORE WRITING+SCRIPT Script, 6 whites/colors, smooth/pinstripe

100% pcw

Script, 4 whites/colors, smooth/pinstripe

30% pcw

Script, 3 whites/colors, smooth/pinstripe Writing, 25% Cotton, 3 whites/colors, wove/laid

30% pcw

Writing, 25% Cotton, 10 whites/colors, wove/laid Writing, Pure Cotton, 4 whites, wove MOHAWK OPTIONS 3 whites, smooth

100% pcw

3 whites, smooth/vellum

30% pcw

2 whites, smooth/vellum MOHAWK VIA 1 white, smooth

100% pcw

33 whites/colors, smooth/linen/felt/vellum/satin/laid

30% pcw

1 white, smooth/linen/felt/vellum/satin/laid 2 whites, 25% cotton

30% pcw

MOHAWK COLOR COPY Color Copy 100% Recycled

100% pcw

Color Copy Ultra Gloss

30% pcw

Color Copy Gloss

15% pcw

Color Copy 98 Color Copy Premium

All pcw fiber used at Mohawk is process chlorine free (PCF) and all virgin fiber is elemental chlorine free (ECF). Please consult swatchbooks for more specific information.

PUTTING GOOD TO USE The Right Response

As part of their visible commitment to sustainability, companies have become more careful about the volume and kind of paper they use, especially for very large projects and those that carry an environmental or socially responsible message. By steering your clients toward recycled papers manufactured in environmentally responsible ways, you can help them meet their own internal targets and demonstrate their respect for the earth and its resources.

Your Demand Affects Supply

The more you and your clients specify recycled paper made with greener power, the harder paper makers will work to raise their standards for sustainability. Your level of demand will determine the supply and range of papers manufactured in ways that reflect good environmental stewardship.

Easy To Specify

With advances in manufacturing technology, today’s recycled papers are as easy to run and comparably priced to their virgin-fiber counterparts. Once you choose the stock, finish, color and basis weight, you’re ready to run the job.


Here’s a list of suggestions to help you prioritize your paper specification:

1. Choose paper made with 100% postconsumer waste recycled fiber 2. Choose papers with FSC-certified fiber to preserve forest lands 3. Choose papers made carbon neutral with Verified Emissions Reduction credits that fund additive, clean energy projects 4. Choose papers made with emission-free renewable energy, such as wind-generated electricity 5. Choose papers made with process chlorine free (PCF) or elemental chlorine free (ECF) pulps 6. Choose uncoated papers; coated papers yield very little recyclable fiber 7. Choose paper mills that have received third-party certifications from Green-e, Green Seal and the Forest Stewardship Council

Sustainability for All Occasions

Mohawk Fine Papers offer a wide array of environmentally responsible papers meeting various combinations of standards for manufacturing with renewable windgenerated electricity as certified by Green-e, recycled content and sound energy choices as established by Green Seal, responsible forestry as recognized by the Forest Stewardship Council, use of chlorine-free pulp and carbon neutral production. Whatever type and weight of paper your job needs, you will find a choice that demonstrates a commitment to sustainability in the Mohawk line.


CALCULATING IMPACT What Difference Does It Make?

OK, so you have specified recycled paper made with windgenerated electricity for your job. How much difference does that really make to the environment? The magnitude of the answers may surprise you.

Saving, Conserving, Reducing

Depending on the energy source, level of recycled content, the basis weight and the actual weight of paper used, your paper choice saves trees and a lot more. It can also conserve water and energy while reducing atmospheric emissions as well as solid and waterborne waste.

Mohawk’s Environmental Calculator

This interactive online tool, available for downloading at, allows you to calculate the savings achieved when you choose environmentally preferable paper for your job.


Measure the results

Environmental savings achieved from using FSC-certified, 100% recycled, made with wind-generated electricity Mohawk Color Copy 28lb text rather than an equivalent grade made from virgin fiber and produced with non-renewable energy: REAM Trees not cut down






Waterborne waste not created (lbs.)




Water/wastewater flow saved (gals.)




Solid waste not generated (lbs.)




Atmospheric emissions eliminated (lbs.)



2,367.53 15,472,856.80

Energy not consumed (BTUs)



Air emissions not generated (lbs.)




Fossil fuel equivalent (natural gas)




Planting of trees (removes CO2 from air) Not traveling in an automobile (miles)







Spec the job

A typical 10K printed on Mohawk Options Smooth, 100% PCW Cream White 70 text (101,000 sheets or 14,140 pounds); 100,000 copies; 1c/1c, saddle stitch booklet, finished size 8.5 x 11, generates environmental benefits equivalent to:

12562 lbs. net greenhouse gases prevented

Not driving 7070 miles in an average automobile

96,152,000 BTUs of energy not consumed

391.97 lbs. of waterborne waste not generated

135.74 trees preserved for the future

6830 lbs. of solid waste not generated and 57,661 gallons wastewater flow saved

Source: Mohawk Environmental Calculator available at Conversions are provided by the EDF (Environmental Defense Fund) and/or the U.S. EPA.


SEALS OF APPROVAL Closing the Circle

Mohawk was one of the first paper mills to earn FSC certification in 2002 and offers a broad range of FSCcompliant grades of printing and writing paper. You can find many recycled paper choices at Mohawk that are FSC, Green Seal and Green-e certified as well as carbon neutral.

Taking Credit

In many cases you can represent a certified sustainable paper choice on your job through the use of logos and text provided by the certifying organizations. Your paper merchant and printer can help you determine the language and logos you are entitled to use. For example: If you print a brochure on Mohawk Options 100% PCW and print at an FSC-certified printer, you can use the following claim: “This brochure is printed on FSC-certified Mohawk Options 100% PCW manufactured entirely with wind-generated electricity and contains 100% postconsumer recycled fiber. This paper is certified by Green Seal and by SmartWood for FSC standards which promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.” Note that the appropriate FSC label must accompany this claim. If you print a brochure on Mohawk Options 100% PCW and DO NOT print at an FSC-certified printer, you can use the following claim: “ This brochure is printed on Mohawk Options 100% PCW manufactured entirely with wind-generated electricity and contains 100% postconsumer recycled fiber. This paper is certified by Green Seal.” Visit to find a list of FSC-certified printers.


The Right Logo for the Job

The FSC label can only be arranged with an FSC-certified printer when using FSC-certified paper purchased through an FSC-certified merchant. Be sure to build some extra time into your production schedule when you want to include this logo on your job. The FSC logo has five variations and very strict usage rules. If you do not use an FSC-certified printer, your job cannot carry any FSC logo or language.

FSC 100% Recycled

Products with this 100% Recycled label support re-use of forest resources and in accordance with FSC standards only use postconsumer recycled wood or fiber.

FSC Mixed Sources (forests, controlled sources and recycled fiber) Mixed Sources

Product group from well-managed forests, controlled sources and recycled wood or fiber

Products with a Mixed Sources label support the development of responsible forest management worldwide. This label is used when a customer orders a grade that includes fiber from FSCcertified well-managed forests as well as recycled fiber and/or fiber from non-FSC-certified company controlled sources. The optional recycling symbol identifies postconsumer recycled content in these grades.

FSC Mixed Sources (forests and recycled fiber) Mixed Sources

Product group from well-managed forests and recycled wood or fiber

Products with this Mixed Sources label support the development of responsible forest management worldwide. This label is used when a customer orders a grade that includes fiber from FSC-certified well-managed forests as well as recycled fiber.

FSC Mixed Sources (forests and controlled sources) Mixed Sources 100%

Product group from well-managed From forests forests andwell-managed other controlled sources

Products with this Mixed Sources label support the development of responsible forest management worldwide. This label is used when a customer orders a grade that includes fiber from FSC-certified well-managed forests and/or fiber from non-FSC-certified company controlled sources.

FSC 100% Virgin Fiber Label 100% 100%

From forests From well-managed well-managed forests

Products with a 100% FSC label come from forests certified as being in compliance with the environmental and social standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Landscape versions of these logos are also available. See your FSC-Certified printer for details on using the FSC label.

To demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, more companies are choosing to meet high standards set by non-profit environmental guardian groups and thereby earning these groups’ coveted product certifications. Print buyers can help by specifying papers that are recognized for environmentally sound manufacturing processes. Many environmental standardsetting organizations allow their endorsements to appear on certain products that meet their criteria. In some cases, Mohawk has developed logos to fill a gap where third-party endorsements are lacking.


Certified Renewable Energy

Green-e logo: Green-e is the nation’s leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy products. The Green-e logo is a nationally recognized symbol to help consumers identify superior, certified renewable energy products. You may apply to Green-e for the use of their logo on your project, log on to for more information.

Recycled Content “Mobius Loop”: Any product made from any recycled content may carry this label. The percentage of recycled content can be included in the center or to the right side.


made carbon neutral

Carbon Neutral: Papers certified by Mohawk as carbon neutral are made entirely with renewable energy. The emissions from all of the energy used to make these papers is offset with wind-generated electricity and purchased Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs). Projects printed on any of these papers may include this logo with approval from Mohawk Fine Papers. Log on to to obtain the carbon neutral logo.

Windpower: Mohawk uses this logo to identify papers in the Windpower Portfolio. These papers are made with wind-generated electricity. Projects printed on any of these papers may include this logo with approval from Mohawk Fine Papers. Log on to to obtain the Windpower logos.

Green Seal: Used on products certified by Green Seal—an organization devoted to environmental standard-setting, product certification, advertising claims substantiation and public education—as causing less toxic pollution and waste, conserving resources and habitats, and minimizing global warming and ozone depletion. When using paper certified by Green Seal, you can print “Certified by Green Seal” on your publication.

SUMMING UP Sustainability is good citizenship and good business: companies that demonstrate a respect for the environment establish a competitive advantage, especially with environmentally aware consumers; enhance their public image; and improve their earnings power. As a print buyer, you can help your clients fulfill their commitment to sustainability by directing them toward paper made from recycled fiber using renewable energy. Recycled papers are improving in quality while declining in cost, meaning their choice also contributes to operating efficiency. With minimal effort, you can find an environmentally sound paper to achieve excellent results in virtually any job.


Sense and Sustainability is one of a series of print buyer’s guides produced by Mohawk Fine Papers Inc.

For more information Call 1 800 the mill or visit Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. 465 Saratoga Street Cohoes, New York 12047 December 2014

Production Notes

Paper: Strathmore, 100% PC Cool White, 80C Printer: McQuick, Auburn, AL Design/Concept: Julianna Cvetetic

Sense and Sustainability  
Sense and Sustainability