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paper and brochures

Printing your brochures and flyers, your stationery and your office documents with paper of the shortest possible routes ... that earns you enormous climate protection points. 

Especially with paper, cardboard, books, flyers, business documents, it is very important to pay attention to proof of short distances, i.e. whether printing was done with paper that can show a HOLZ VON HIER certificate, because the material flows with paper are usually international .

  • The "little bit of paper" on it actually matters. With paper of short distances with HVH certificate, considerable CO2 savings are achieved over the course of a year.

  • In addition, your brochures and stationery are also your flagship to the outside world and what better way to demonstrate climate protection than with every letter that reaches the outside world.  

  • Make the printing of your brochures, flyers and business materials such as stationery etc. really climate-neutral at your printer by requesting paper with a WOOD FROM HERE certificate for printing.  

  • And don't fool yourself about the material flows of waste paper. Waste paper is of course a contribution to the conservation of resources, but today office waste paper in particular can often have global material flows behind it. This means that their contribution to climate protection can sometimes be very small. If waste paper is not produced in Europe, with its extremely high environmental regulations, but in Asia, the water consumption can also be extremely high and the waste water pollution considerable.  

  • On the other hand, fresh fiber must also be mixed in with every waste paper during production, the better the quality should be, the more likely it is. In the case of brochures and flyers, good print quality can often only be achieved with fresh paper. It is important where the paper comes from and which raw materials it contains and which routes it has taken in its production flow.  

  • European paper manufacturers generally have to comply with the strict environmental regulations of the European Union. All paper mills are also involved in emissions trading and have to meet strict requirements. It's completely different around the world. Here, too, Europe is a pioneer in environmental protection.

  • The manufacturer of graphic papers with HOLZ VO HIER certificate is the manufacturer SAPPI based in Lower Franconia. In addition to the HOLZ VON HIER certification, the manufacturer is also monitored according to EMAS and is also certified according to the forest labels FSC and PEFC.

Small "paper knowledge" in advance

Paper is by no means the same as paper

With the generic term “paper”, one has to look at the manufacturing processes, the quantities, the requirements, the origin, the material flows, the  Recyclability and the climate balance distinguish between: graphic paper, hygiene paper, paper for packaging and cardboard, technical and special paper and waste paper.


Graphic papers

"Graphic paper" includes a large number of specifications that are not listed in any statistics. A distinction can be made here between: (1) paper for newspapers, (2) offset paper, (3) paper for printing flyers, brochures and books and (4) various special papers.

sanitary papers

Hygiene papers are also diverse and range from simple toilet paper, to diapers, brands (Tempo), hospital supplies to cosmetic articles made of "paper".

"Kraft papers" for packaging

The field of packaging "paper" is growing rapidly today, due to the ever more global flow of goods and the enormous increase in online trade. Everything from the shoe box, cardboard boxes to the pizza packaging falls under this. We speak of "paper" with weights of 7 - 225 g/m², with cardboard between 150 - 600 g/m² and with cardboard with weights from approx. (225) 500 g/m².

specialty papers

Technical and special papers are e.g. B. Filter papers, cigarette paper, banknote paper and others each have specific requirements for security and purity.

waste paper

Waste paper is used for less valuable types of paper. LWC waste paper contains up to 70% waste paper, it is wood-containing, light-weight paper coated on both sides (39 to 80 g/m²). They are used in the area of magazines, inserts, direct mail. With de-inking waste paper, printing inks are removed mechanically and chemically. It is used in the office and hygiene area. Dark waste paper for cartons, cardboard, corrugated board (in Germany >60%) cannot be “deinked”. With a focus on the upstream chains, waste paper is by no means automatically a paper of short distances. Eurostat data show that the material flows for recovered paper are international today and at least as extensive as for fresh paper. In practice, paper fibers can only be recycled 5/6 times on average. The fibers are further damaged by the renewed processing into paper, the proportion of additives in relation to the fibers increases, which must be taken into account with food packaging made from waste paper. Waste paper is not automatically more water-friendly than fresh paper. "Office waste paper" made from waste fibers is considered to be water-friendly. According to a study by the University of Flensburg in 2012, about 46.3 m3 of waste water are produced per ton of paper for the production of 1 ton of office waste paper. In comparison, the company SAPPI Stockstadt, which has recently been able to offer fresh fiber paper with WOOD FROM HERE, produces significantly less waste water 23.8 m3/t (data from Sappi EMAS environmental report). So you cannot automatically compare "waste paper with fresh fiber paper", but only paper from manufacturer A with that from manufacturer B.

Importance of short distances in paper production

Paper is an important, necessary and also beautiful product. However, the discussions of the last 20 years on the subject of paper, especially in Europe, have led to uncertainty about the environmental impact of this product. While Europe has therefore imposed strict environmental standards on the paper industry, paper production has expanded worldwide, to completely different environmental and social standards than in Europe.

In an increasingly global paper market, the German and European paper manufacturers, who comply with the high European environmental standards, had to keep up economically with the ever-increasing imports of paper from all over the world onto the European market. Some of these imports come from regions of the world that do not have anywhere near the same environmental standards as Europe.  

More and more paper, cardboard and cardboard are being produced worldwide. At the same time, the industry is once again experiencing a surge in globalization and concentration. Today China is the largest paper producer in the world. However, it is not just paper production that is increasingly concentrated in the Greater Asia region, but also the printing of books, illustrated books, school books and magazines. Much of the cardboard and file paper on the European consumer market today also comes from Asia, especially China. Don't be mistaken, a lot of paper and cardboard packaging of every kind, from shoe boxes to pizza boxes or handkerchiefs, and even waste paper is not automatically a European, let alone a regional product today. All of these products are often manufactured and traded in global material flows.

It is all the better that a paper manufacturer based in Germany has now decided to offer HOLZ FROM HIER certified paper on the German and European market: SAPPI in Stockstadt.  

The paper that printers and publishers use for their customers' products can come from short distances or from very long distances. As a rule, the printers and publishers do not yet know anything about the upstream chains of their products. But the paper they use may have traveled 500 km or 20,000 km. So far, only the criterion "sustainable forest management" has been the focus of the considerations. This is documented with international forest labels (e.g. FSC, PEFC, MTCC, CFCC and others).


However, without proof of origin such as WOOD FROM HERE, the raw material for the paper can come from very long distances, for example from forests in Malaysia or Russia or plantations in China or Brazil. Customers, in turn, can buy their books, brochures, school books, illustrated books, etc. either from domestic publishers or from publishers in China with unknown upstream chains (gate to customer).

Holz von Hier shows the enormous potential for climate and environmental protection in buying books, picture books, school books, brochures, flyers, newspapers, etc. from local publishers that are printed with paper that is readily available.

Mathematically, every German uses an average of 250 kilograms of paper per year and person, mostly for work but also in authorities and administrations ( Around 22.53 million tons of paper are produced in Germany every year, of which 7.13 million tons are printing and writing paper. 11.41 million tons of paper are imported, of which 4.81 million tons are printing and writing paper. 20.28 million tons of which 6.71 million tons are printing and writing paper are consumed. Mathematically, every second sheet of paper comes from import.

Importance of paper of short distances

Only a few paper mills in Europe still produce most of their pulp themselves. Paper mills such as the company SAPPI in Stockstatt, which is offering paper with a HOLZ FROM HIER certificate for the first time, can save enormous amounts of energy and resources in their upstream chains. Saving on transports in the material flows not only saves energy and is therefore very climate-friendly, but the comparatively short distances also have significantly lower environmental risks, for example a low risk of biodiversity loss.

Calculations with Eurostat data showed (Whitepaper HVH January 2021) that a print shop that prints with HOLZ VON HIER certified graphic paper saves on average at least 78 kg CO2-eq/t paper.   

And it should also be remembered that the use of products manufactured in the European regions also preserve jobs and training positions in the countries of Europe. After the corona crisis, this is certainly extremely important for every country in Europe.

How can you make a print comprehensively CO2 neutral?

A printing company that buys paper usually knows nothing about the upstream chains of paper production. The energy consumption of modern print shops can already be around 0.2 kWh/kg of processed paper (white paper HVH January 2021). According to this, the CO2 emissions from printing would be around 80 kg CO2/t paper. A print shop that uses paper certified with HOLZ VON HIER saves at least 78 kg CO2-eq/t paper. This means that a print shop that uses such paper can make the entire print "CO2 neutral" for the most part due to the origin of the paper.

Importance of books and brochures of short distances







In 2020, 105,087 tons of "books" were imported directly to Germany as a range of "books, brochures and similar prints" and 133,699 tons were exported (Eurostat evaluation January 2021). Including 11,887 tons of imports of picture books (range "picture albums, picture books, school books, drawing books, coloring books, especially for children") and 7,257 exports of this range. About 47% of imports of picture and school books for children came from China. The upstream chains and material flows of these directly imported ranges to Germany are not known.

Volume-weighted values for imports of picture books, school books especially for children on the German market would be a generic mean of 212 kg CO2-eq/t for the transport of the books alone, without knowing the transports of all upstream chains (!) which are added here would come

Around 47% of all picture books came to Germany from China in 2020. The books that come from China have a transport backpack of 473 kg CO2-eq/t books. This includes 18,500 ship kilometers and around 3,000 truck kilometers for the pulp and paper upstream chains in China.

One of the world's largest paper manufacturers alone, the Chinese group "Nine Dragons Paper" has 19 paper and pulp production sites in Asia. The factories in China are spread across the country. It is therefore appropriate to estimate another 5,000 km of transport for the upstream chains in China up to the pulp and paper mill. That would be a total of at least 250 kg CO2-eq/t, whereby a very conservative factor from the European Union is used for calculation. Allocations and transport loads are not involved in this first rough calculation.

However, the upstream chains could also extend across the entire Greater Asia region, which would significantly increase the value mentioned. This is also likely, since China is currently the world's largest importer of wood and wood products. However, since the material flows to China are mostly non-transparent (e.g. WCMC), this cannot be followed up any further. Despite China's intensive efforts in reforestation in recent decades and the development of rapidly increasing plantation areas in China, China will remain dependent on raw material imports for a long time or permanently. However, China must and wants to become more sustainable and productive in the area of forestry. Some plantation areas in China already have the FSC label, but the Chinese Forest Certification Council (CFCC) is also developing its own forest label.

If, for example, picture books or school books arrive in Europe from China, conservatively assuming that all upstream chains from the forest or plantation have taken place in China, the books would have been transported solely because of the transport, i.e. without production or the CO2 emissions in the Extraction of raw materials, about a CO2 backpack of 725 kg CO2-eq/t books.


Why should schools purchase printed paper books with an HVH certificate from local publishers as a climate protection measure?

If school books were purchased that were printed with HOLZ VON HIER certified paper from local publishers instead of school books imported from China, that would be the case at least in mathematical terms  Save 675 kg CO2-eq/t.

School books weigh between 400 and 800 g (balanced) at around 500 g/school book, that would be a CO saving effect of around 340 grams CO2-eq/school book. An LED lamp (600 lumens) consumes significantly less energy than a light bulb, but still so much energy that around 500 g CO2 /LED lamp * year are released. With a single school belly with HVH paper from local production instead of from China, an LED lamp in the use phase in the school could be made climate-neutral for around 9 months. ​​


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