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Home > About NAA > Newspapers & Sustainability > Environmental Policy

NAA environmental policy

Toward sustainability in the newspaper industry

newspapers and sustainabilityAs a resource to the newspaper industry, the Newspaper Association of America serves more than 2,000 member companies in the U.S. and Canada. On environmental issues, NAA seeks to encourage and help our members and the newspaper industry to identify, assess and adopt best environmental practices so as to continually advance the industry toward the goal of full sustainability.

NAA has chosen to follow the definition of sustainability developed in 1989 by the United Nations Brundtland Commission:

  • Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

To achieve the goal of sustainability, NAA helps our members recognize best practices that minimize environmental impacts, reduce the use of resources, use energy more efficiently, lower carbon emissions and reduce waste. NAA also acts as a clearinghouse for collecting and sharing best industry practices developed by our member companies.

Commitment. Reaching the goal of sustainability for the newspaper industry requires a commitment to evolving business practices as quickly and as comprehensively as possible so current needs for productivity and profit are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

True sustainability is thus one of the most important and challenging goals of our time and must be avidly pursued. At stake is not only our industry's, but the earth’s continued viability.

The NAA Environmental Advisory Council (EAC). Informing NAA in the development of its environmental policies is the NAA Environmental Advisory Council (EAC), formed in late 2008. EAC’s members include environmental experts from NAA’s member companies.

NAA’s environmental policies are set forth below. They are designed to advance our industry on the road toward sustainability. We encourage our members to consider these policies and adapt them as appropriate for their own operations.

General Environmental Principles

  • NAA believes that the evolution toward sustainability, in addition to benefiting the environment, can also be directly beneficial to its members’ business interests. Reducing the use of raw materials, such as newsprint, reducing energy consumption, increasing efficiency, recycling and eliminating waste provides significant cost savings.
  • NAA encourages the use of the best available techniques and technologies that provide cost-saving efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions.
  • NAA pledges to work in cooperation with related industries so as to mutually reinforce each other’s environmental policies.

More specific environmental practices at NAA are grouped into the following categories:

  1. Newsprint procurement
  2. Printing inks
  3. Paper recycling
  4. Energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions

Newsprint Procurement

Newsprint is a fundamental raw material for the newspaper industry, and our industry has reduced the consumption of newsprint by changing press operations to maximize efficiency and reduce waste. The industry has also decreased its reliance on virgin fiber by increasing the use of recycled fiber newsprint. Since early 1990, newspaper publishers have increased the average amount of recycled-fiber in newsprint used in the U.S. from 9 percent to 35 percent. NAA encourages its members to continue this progress. It should also be noted that most of the ground wood pulp used for newsprint manufacturing comes from sawmill byproducts such as wood chips and shavings from trees harvested for other purposes.

· NAA encourages all members to buy newsprint where possible from mills that can trace their fiber use through a recognized Chain of Custody certifier (usually FSC, PEFC, SFI or some combination). This practice ensures that all fiber meets Controlled Wood Standards, thereby promoting legal logging among other things.

  • NAA also encourages the use of newsprint from forests managed and certified under one of the following third party audited systems:
    • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)*
    • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
    • Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
    • Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC)
    • American Tree Farm System (ATFS)
    • Master Logger Programs (MLP)

    *NAA notes that only 32 percent of the world’s FSC-certified forests are located in North America. That makes availability of FSC-certified wood extremely limited to all paper manufacturers, particularly those in the newsprint business.

    • NAA encourages and, upon request, will help our members to exercise rigorous due diligence in their selection of forest products suppliers to ensure that their suppliers are scrupulously following industry best practices in sustainable forest management.

    Printing Inks

    NAA is committed to helping our members use inks that are environmentally safe as well as safe to human health.

    • The use of soy-based inks reduces the level of volatile organic compounds emitted during the printing processes. Vegetable oils also form a film, adding to the drying capabilities of the news ink, leading to substantially less rub off of inks.

    Paper recycling

    • NAA continues to encourage recycling of newspapers and the use of recycled content in newsprint. Newspapers today are closely associated with recycling, because over 73 percent of all newspapers in the United States are recovered and recycled into newsprint and other products. That exemplary recycling rate dramatically helps reduce impact on forests, dependency on imported oil and the need for more landfills.
    • NAA promotes increasing the average amount of post–consumer recycled content in newspapers, recognizing that there are raw material and technical barriers, such as contamination and fiber supply issues, that must be overcome.
    • The industry should seek ways to continue its dramatic increase over the past 20 years in the average amount of recycled fiber in newsprint used in the U.S.

    Energy Efficiency and Reducing Carbon Emissions

    • Everyday business operations can be assessed and often modified to reduce energy consumption and its attendant environmental impacts through such measures as increasing the use of more efficient lighting and closely monitoring and addressing HVAC systems to maximize efficiency.
    • NAA recognizes the benefits and importance of routine energy audits. NAA encourages its members to conduct comprehensive audits whenever possible to establish first a baseline and then to track their energy-reduction progress.
    • Newspaper companies are incorporating green initiatives into managing their facilities, from launching employee awareness programs on recycling and conservation to incorporating efficiency practices such as natural heating and cooling in their buildings. NAA supports and promotes these initiatives. We hope to offer more detailed recommendations regarding carbon emission reductions as common metrics and certifiers emerge. In the meantime, we encourage all to refer to the WRI protocols.