As environmental consciousness finds a foothold in the minds of the general public as well as business leaders, Sappi, a global brand in the paper, pulp and chemical cellulose sectors, and the global office automation company, Oki Printing Solutions are working together to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable business practices and their respective green credentials.
Sappi is generally seen as a Paper Company that cuts down trees without giving anything back to the environment, while the opposite is actually true, according to Bernhard Riegler, Sappi Fine Paper GM: marketing. For years the company has been focusing on sustainable business processes and has diversified its product range.
The sustainable strategy lead to its sourcing of raw materials from sustainable plantations and looking towards additional sources of raw materials ie fibre. It is also responsible for planting thousands of trees every year. The trees planted far outstrip what is traditionally used for its varied business activities. Numerous long-term sustainability projects are undertaken and in such Sappi has launched a brand of recycled paper named Typek 50% recycled and the Triple Green product range.
Oki Printing Solutions South Africa's MD, Neil Rom acknowledges that printing companies are not renowned for their small carbon footprint, but says Oki is actively engaged in reducing its footprint and encouraging customers to act in an environmentally conscientious and sustainable manner. He believes working together with partners and customers is the best way to positively impact the environment.
"The aim of our green collaboration is to encourage the use of Sappi's Typek recycled paper in businesses and homes around the country," explains Rom. "Oki have tested Typek recycled paper in all our printers. The quality of Typek recycled paper is excellent. Results from our testing show print quality and paper handling are as good as any other brand of paper and we have no hesitation in recommending it."
Traditionally, recycled paper is more expensive to produce than normal paper and to ensure Typek recycled paper gets into the hands of customers Oki together with Sappi will subsidise the cost and ensure that customers get the environmental benefit of using this paper at no extra premium to the user.
Riegler explains recycled paper is more expensive than traditional paper because of the additional manufacturing processes it has to go through and most users don't realise this. "It is purely a cost of production," he says.
Moreover, OKI will also put samples of Typek recycled paper into every printer it sells to assist the market in becoming comfortable with recycled paper. In addition, to encourage customers to recycle their printer cartridges in an environmentally friendly manner, Oki will give each client putting old cartridges in its recycle bins a free ream of Typek recycled paper.
"While people want to hear of environmentally sustainable efforts from business, some are hesitant to adopt recycled products due to quality concerns, even though these may be misguided. Our collaboration will ensure that all Oki users get to experience the quality of Typek recycled paper first hand."
Oki is also looking at further social investments in the sustainable farming activities of Sappi, such as supporting beekeepers or those who plant herbs under trees in Sappi's forests.
Environmentally friendly business processes are no longer negotiable for the entire population and large companies need to leads by example. Customers and the public in general are more aware of green issues than ever and expect corporations they do business with to lead the way in creating and promoting sustainable business practices.