45 BACK TO NAVIGATION CERTIFICATION Beware of Greenwashing! Many products are now being labelled as ‘green’ even though they still have negative environmental impacts and this can be an issue for paper. Almost all paper is recyclable, so paper labelled ‘recyclable’ is not greener than standard paper. The most sustainable paper is should be 100% recycled, have a high post-consumer waste content and not contain any native forest fibre. Ideally this paper would also be produced locally to avoid the impacts of transport. Some paper companies also label their paper ‘carbon neutral’ as the carbon emissions in the production process have been measured and offset but if the paper contains native forest fibre, simply leaving the native forest in the ground to absorb carbon would provide greater benefits. Australia also exports unprocessed wood chips harvested from native Victorian and Tasmanian eucalypt forests to Japan and China where it is made into paper products. Given that much of Australia’s copy paper is imported, customers need to be aware that they may be inadvertently supporting this practice. Certification systems allow consumers to influence forest management and other impacts of paper use by purchasing pre-certified products. Customers may however assume that all certification standards are equivalent and that all certified forest products come from sustainably managed forests but unfortunately there are some differences that consumers should be aware of. There are two common certifications available for forest products in Australia that are applied to copy paper: • Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC) and • Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) - sometimes also represented as PEAC Both certifications are underpinned by a process of standards, consultation, reporting, and auditing. Both these certifications receive support and criticism by different stakeholder groups and both are subject to commentary about how they balance the interests of commercial harvesting verses environmental sustainability and communities. Many point to contradictions where high value conservation forests are harvested for certified timber products or where other impacts or failures of compliance systems have led to unsustainable outcomes. The highest use of paper by law firms is 80 gsm copy paper. The number of large paper mills in Australian has reduced over the last ten years as a result of international competition for products. Australian Paper is now the only producer of copy paper in Australia but produces paper for several labels and brands. Their plant at Maryvale produces different copy paper products using both recycled and virgin pulp - using fifty-seven percent planation pulp in total. Australian Paper has also recently commissioned a recycling plant capable of significantly increasing the proportion of recycled copy paper it produces. Australian Paper is also the only Australian manufacturer of A4 copy paper that still uses native forest timber harvested by Vic Forests. This supply of native forest logs is certified by the industry backed Australian Forestry Standard but does not meet the additional requirements of by Forestry Stewardship Council certification.