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6 Steps to Responsible paper purchasing

We need your help to protect forest biodiversity, the natural environment and human rights.

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Be paper efficient

Paper is too important to be used wastefully. Global paper consumption has quadrupled in the last 50 years. Western Europe and North America alone consume over half of the world´s paper.

If you use paper smartly you will protect the environment and support a fair access to paper by the “developing” world. You will also save money.


  • Redesign products and packaging to require less or thinner paper
  • Reduce unnecessary paper use by e.g printing double sided
  • Reuse and recycle more paper

Give trees a longer life

Our paper use should become less reliant on virgin tree fibres and maximise the use of recycled materials.

The increasing need for virgin fibre puts huge pressure on biodiversity and the world´s limited resources.


  • Lessen your environmental impact through use of recycled paper products.
  • Look out for the FSC 100% recycled paper label.
  • Actively encourage recycling and recovery systems.
  • For end of life-cycle products like toilet paper give preference to recycled fibre.
  • Opt for post-consumer recycled fibre products where possible.

Buy green Virgin Fibres

Paper is important for society – but so are our forests and the people that depend upon them.

Buying “green” paper will support efforts for responsible forestry and reduce your risk in being associated with controversial production. It will also promote human rights.

See how companies take steps toward FSC: The Global Forest & Trade Network


  • Give preference to paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Look for the FSC and FSC mixed sources labels which are available in most grades.
  • Be public about your environmental choice and inspire other paper users
  • For big volumes, get to know your supply chain and engage your suppliers toward FSC Chain of Custody and FSC certified wood and pulp use

Buy clean paper

Paper making is potentially polluting – But paper can be produced with low emissions and low climate impacts.

For a healthy environment promote:

  • Unbleached or chlorine free bleached paper (TCF/PCF)
  • Reduced CO2 emissions and waste
  • Reduced emissions to air and water

Choose transparent paper producers

WWF's Paper Company Environmental Index evaluates paper producers and their supply chain as a whole on their global ecological footprint.


  • If your paper supplier is among the global top 100 manufacturers encourage them to participate in WWF's Environmental Paper Index
  • Inform your supplier that you care about corporate transparency

Choose green paper brands

WWF's “Check Your Paper” online database of environmentally leading paper brands assists responsible buyers to make their choice. The scoring method provides a quick overview what really counts on environmental impacts. It is also a tool for you to work with your suppliers towards improvements on their environmental performance.


  • Search environmentally leading paper brands on checkyourpaper.panda.org
  • Encourage your paper supplier to submit their data