What's More Environmentally Friendly, Paper or Computers and Digital Devices?

More and more people are communicating with electronic media. But are electronic devices more environmentally friendly than paper? To address this important question, International Paper (NYSE: IP) has launched a new brochure in its Down to Earth environmental series, "Pixels vs. Paper: Are pixels greener than paper?"

Every decision to communicate has some impact on the environment and the brochure reveals some important facts about communicating on paper versus electronically. Also, the new Down to Earth brochure includes some facts that may surprise you. For example, did you know . . .

  • Paper comes from a renewable resource - Trees.
  • Every day the paper and forest products industry plants more than three times the number of trees than are harvested -- paper is truly renewable and sustainable.
  • Electronic devices are typically made of plastics and other non-renewable resources and often contain chemicals and metals.

Paper vs. Computers - Compare energy consumption.

  • The amount of electricity to run a computer for only five months could produce enough paper for the average person to use for an entire year.
  • Paper is biodegradable and recyclable. Are computers?
  • Paper is biodegradable and nearly 60 percent of all paper in the U.S. is recycled.
  • Only 18 percent of all electronic devices are currently recycled and E-waste constitutes the single largest waste export in the U.S.

"International Paper's Down to Earth series has received outstanding responses, so we are continuing the series this year," said David Struhs, International Paper's vice president, Sustainability. "With the Down to Earth series, we hope to clear up some of the myths and misconceptions about our paper and the forest products industry and provide thought provoking educational pieces that help our customers better understand important environmental topics."

Struhs added, "International Paper believes pixels and paper both have a place in our communications future. By linking paper with the efficiency of electronics, we can streamline our communications and help maintain the best environmental balance possible."

There are three other brochures in the "Down to Earth" series:

Volume 1: "Certification: Where does your paper come from?"
Volume 2: "Recycled vs. Virgin: Is recycled paper the best you can do?"
Volume 3: "Carbon Footprint: How big is your carbon footprint?"

For more information or to receive copies of the brochure, visit ipsustainability.com.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this news story?

Leave your feedback