Is the paper industry in Portugal contributing to deforestation?
Whilst tree plantations (managed forests) do not have as much biodiversity as wild
forests, they are much more economically useful and provide important jobs in the
countryside. They also have more biodiversity than intensive annual crops such as
wheat and maize, which disturb the topsoil, causing erosion.
In countries such as Portugal, with many small land-owners, managed eucalyptus forests are small enough to provide cover for wildlife whilst co-existing with native species, such as cork oaks, green oaks and olive trees enabling wildlife to nest and feed. Portugal’s forests grew 61% in the 20th century and currently cover more than 35% of the country, significantly more than the UK’s 12%. European forests (and especially Portugal’s) have been expanding quickly, to provide raw materials for pulp and paper, construction, biomass heating, etc.
So every time you use a Navigator ream, think positive: You are helping European forests grow and are NOT contributing to rain forest destruction.
Why do we find that strong smell near pulp and paper mills?
Kraft pulp and paper mills do have a characteristic smell. This happens because during
the pulp making process, wood is decomposed through boiling and use of chemicals,
releasing an organically inoffensive but odorous Sulphur gas known as mercaptan and
other reduced Sulphur compounds.
That’s the reason behind the strong smell. This gas is produced in very low concentrations and is not harmful in any way.
“…DURING THE PULP MAKING PROCESS, WOOD IS DECOMPOSED THROUGH BOILING AND USE OF CHEMICALS“
Is The Navigator Company cutting down more trees than it's planting?
No. Actually, The Navigator Company forests are managed in a way so there are
always more trees growing than those cut. For instance, we can think of it as a line of
12 trees. Now, since we wait 12 years for a tree to be ready for making pulp, we plant
12 trees with a one year distance from each other. After 12 years we have 1 tree ready
to be cut while the other 11 are growing, being the 2nd tree 11 years old and the 12th
tree 1 year old.
This way there are always more trees growing and the cuts are made following a certain order so the trees keep growing in the best conditions.
“...THERE ARE ALWAYS MORE TREES GROWING ..."
When using more paper, does that translate into more trees cut?
For instance, we use Eucalyptus globulus, which is a highly productive tree, which means it provides a better ratio of fibres per kg of wood than any other tree species.
Thus, we’re able to make the same amount of paper with less wood than if we used, for example, Nordic pine wood. so, using more Navigator means we’re actually cutting less trees than others if you use the same amount of paper.
Moreover, Navigator offers low grammage options, which means that on top of being able to use fewer trees while meeting your paper needs, you can choose even more environmentally friendly products. So, if you choose 75 g.m-2 over 80 g.m-2, it means you can use even more paper and know we used fewer trees.
Does paper manufacturing involve using hazardous chemicals?
Within the paper industry, health and environmental concerns are associated with
the use of chlorines, known to be used as pulp bleachers to whiten pulp.
Fortunately, nowadays, such processes are less common and companies such as
The Navigator Company use chlorine free processes to reach desired whiteness
At gPS, for instance, we use an Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) process, in which the bleaching process uses chlorine dioxide as a bleaching agent. ECF is a process with a BAT (Best Available Technique) status, which means it is a state-of-the-art process that meets the best results regarding environmental regulations. It is also known to deliver higher quality papers which, in the end, allows gps to consume less energy and less wood and obtain a more recyclable product than other processes thanks to the betterquality of the fibres.