Preparation of Papers for the EFITAWCCA 2007 Joint Conference

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Preparation of Papers for the EFITAWCCA 2007 Joint Conference

    Experience of Recycled Paper Use in

    Certification Exams: on the Impacts

    of Convincing Suppliers to Improve

    Environmental Management

    aLuiz Roberto Calado

    a. Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn,


    Paper-Based test application is a field in which environmental sustainability has a long path to

    improve before reaching desirable standards, especially at the light of techniques such as the

    Tree Savings Formula, whereby this Organizational Experience Report show a definite example

    of such statement. This paper presents a case study in which the organization that runs a

    countrywide test was able to convince the examination manufacturers, thereby increasing the

    environmental efficiency of the exam at a national scale. This result provides evidence that in

    persuading the agent responsible for the actual production of the exam’s paper copies to use

    recycled paper the leading organization executive responsible for the test achieved its goal of

    enhanced sustainability, with several known general benefits.

    Key words: cleaner production, recycled paper, company culture.

    1 Introduction

    The present case concerns an alternative approach of sustainable management. Its

    implementation started at the end of 2006 involving two major players in Brazil: the

    organization running a widespread certification exam throughout the country and the

    third-party manufacturers of the paper material of the aforementioned exam.

    The main concern leading to the implementation of the use of recycled paper in the

    production step of the test itself was to supply a short-run measure for improving the

    environmental efficiency of the whole examination process while being able to provide

    test takers with the same quality for the final product as before.

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2 Case Study

Through the initiative of the executive in charge of the certification test at the

    institution running it, there was an arrengement between the two instituitions to use

    recycled paper instead of the previoulsy used type. As a way to assure that the use of

    the recycled paper would not impact the quality of the examinations, (neither alter its

    applicability characteristics) a control group was employed at one of the exam sites,

    chosen as to include a demanding sample of applicants, of approximately 2,000

    candidates. Candidates from the control group who took the test evaluated the idea

    positively: responding to a simple survey regarding the new type of paper experiment,

    candidates evaluated no significative difference between normal paper and recycled


    3 Enviromental and Social Benefits

    After a successful experiment with the recycled paper test, its use was broadly

    incorporated at national scale thereafter. While maintaining all the desirable

    characteristics of regular paper for such a one-time usage application, we can now

    focus on the benefits provided through the use of a more social-conscious process for

    the exam.

    On paper manufacture, wood is transformed in pulp. The rate of wastefulness is approximately 50% of discarded substances.

    Tree Savings Calculation

    According to Thompson (1992)

    1 ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper uses up to 24

    trees” A pallet of copier paper contains 40 cartons and weighs 1 ton. Therefore, 1 carton (10

    reams) of 100% virgin copier paper uses .6 trees. So, we can perform the following

    calculation for the economy of natural resources: 1 tree makes 16.67 reams of copy

    paper or 8,333.3 sheets

    The table below (table 1) shows the number of trees saved by not using regular paper

    on the manufacturing/production of the exam applied at countrywide scale.

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     Table 1: trees saved using recycled paper

    Numbers Pages Pages not Kg of Trees Year of Exams per Exam wasted paper saved

    2006* 2,000 15 30,000 132 3,6

    2006 10,000 15 150,000 660 16

    2007** 40,000 15 600,000 2640 72

     * control group (September)

    ** until July

    From this table we can conclude that the gains from the use of recycled paper will be even greater since coming exams will be applied at a more frequent rate and at an

    ever growing set of applicants (as the need for a certification broadens its range

    through the whole country).

    A fact worth mentioning is that the recycled paper does not directly use raw material

    from nature. Yet another advantage is that the colour saturation of the recycled

    paper, in natural tone, does not demand the process of whittening the paper, which

    contaminates the environment, further increasing the social beneficial from its use.

    Other known advantages of recycling paper

    ? Reduction of raw materials costs: adopting used paper to produce

    recycled paper is cheaper than with cellulose.

    ? Water saving: while on manufacturing a ton of recycled paper 2,000

    liters of water are required, in the traditional process this volume can

    reach over 100,000 liters.

    ? Energy saving: on average, half of the energy is saved.

Futhermore, there is a reduction in pollution and chemical products usage, because

    the critical phase of cellulose production has already been made, thus the recycling

    plant presents a lower harm to the environment. Moreover it uses residues that would

    otherwise end up as waste.

    Another benefit would be at providing jobs: Specialists believe that fifteen time more

    job positions are created when recycled paper is adopted: five times more on

    production and ten times on recycling processes.

    Last, but not least, it is worth mentioning the reduction in garbage volume: Each ton

    of normal paper recycled represents a reduction of a 3,2 m? area on waste lands.

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    4 Future action proposed It is fundamental to disseminate the results of this case study, for two reasons: (i) to

    stimulate the public use of recycled paper in other examinations of certification and

    "official exams"; and (ii) to stimulate organizations to pressure its suppliers to use

    recycled material, as was the case at the studied situation,. Finally, this case study

    showed that it is possible to be successful in reducing the "enviromental footprint" if

    an organization includes this subject in its mission, demanding its suppliers and

    customers to do a rational use of environment resources.

    5 References

    Thompson, C., 1992. Recycled Papers: The Essential Guide. MIT Press, Cambridge.

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