Friday, August 2nd, 2019

But, Is Rhodia Good to the Environment?


As most of you are aware, the Northeast was hit with a soul crushing heat wave a couple of weeks ago, and my mind inevitably went to the steps we’re taking as a company to minimize our impact and slow down climate change. While I love a good paper product, I couldn’t follow up last week’s love letter to our favorite material without doing some digging about our manufacturing practices.

To give you an idea of how much goes into making notebooks, I’ll just tell you that to make a single sheet of paper requires, on average, 3 gallons of water. Now, that’s not as much as a pair of leather shoes (3,626 gallons), but think about all the paper we use and discard on a daily basis and it really adds up.

In addition to leaving a significant water footprint, the paper and pulping industries have historically presented the following environmental issues:

Production of nitrogen and sulfur dioxides that contribute to acid rain

 Production of carbon dioxide

Fossil fuel gas emissions from transportation and energy use

Deforestation (note that virgin paper is cheaper to make than paper from recycled pulp, as recycled pulp is often purchased)

Chlorine bleaching

River and lake pollution

So, what has our response to these problems been?

Clairefontaine, responsible for all paper found in Rhodia, Quo Vadis, and Clairefontaine products, is the only European manufacturer making its own paper for its products. On top of that, they:

Participate in the development of French forests in the Vosges mountain range

Make their paper from pulp and wood by-products from PEFC-certified sustainable forests

Make paper that is recyclable, biodegradable, and free of bleach (special thanks to calcium carbonate)

Self-supply 80% of the energy they use, and have put in place an advanced water recycling method (that makes the River Meurthe water cleaner than when it got to the mill) (really, people swim there)

Convert waste from water treatment plant into agricultural compost

Only use water-based, vegetable oil inks in their products

That’s a huge relief in our current climate. You can rest assured that any paper product you purchase from us will not only be beautiful and of the highest quality, but also environmentally sound.

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