Align Papers Life Cycle Assessment
To evaluate the environmental benefits of our Align™ family of eco-conscious and budget-friendly papers, Resolute Forest Products commissioned a life cycle assessment (LCA) comparing the Align grades with the North American freesheet market.
This cradle-to-grave analysis compared the environmental impacts of the production, transportation, usage and disposal of Align coated and uncoated grades to the average for North American freesheet paper.
The LCA found Align uncoated grades to have a smaller environmental impact than uncoated freesheet (UFS) over the product lifecycle in 14 of the 15 categories examined. Our Align coated grade also had a smaller environmental impact than the North American coated freesheet (CFS) average in 13 of the 15 categories.
Key Findings for Align Grades
It’s not just the wood fiber savings from our efficient thermomechanical pulping process that are significant compared to competitive freesheet papers. The LCA found several other areas where Align had a much lower environmental impact than similar products, including:
- A carbon footprint from 35% to 85% smaller than that of the average freesheet grade
- Less energy used during production
- More renewable energy used during production
- Fewer impacts on human health
- Ecosystem quality impacts reduced by as much as 97%
With a smaller environmental footprint than traditional offset papers, Align papers also offer higher opacity and bulk at a lower basis weight than traditional freesheet. This helps our customers reduce paper, postage and transportation costs.
Relative Footprint of Align Compared to Freesheet
Per ream of paper, over the product life cycle:
Source: Resolute Forest Products 2012 Annual Report, page 55
Growing Our Eco-Friendly Align Brand
In 2014, we continued to expand our Align brand of environmentally responsible and budget-friendly papers by adding two more super-brite grades, Hybrid and Alternative, to our existing offerings of Ecopaque, Equal Offset and ResoluteMax. The new Hybrid grades are used for commercial printing such as comics, direct mail, directories, envelopes, inserts and manuals. Alternative Offset papers are ideal for a variety of print applications, including book publishing, financial printing, annual reports and direct mail.
Detailed Information on the Life Cycle Assessment