Skip to main content

The University’s paper trail

Blog Posts

Hello, my name is Lisa Mitchell and I am a member of the Print and Mail service at the University of Leeds.

With International Forest Day on the 21 March, I think Print and Paper have a great environmental story to tell.

There aren’t many industries around that can aspire to becoming genuinely sustainable. The paper industry, however, is one of them; it is inherently sustainable.

Jonathon Porritt, Co-Founder, Forum for the Future

Paper can spark discussions over usage, waste, and sourcing across the globe. I want to tell you about how Print and Mail ensure that promoting the University as a sustainable and caring institution is at the heart of our responsibilities and operations.

We feel very proud of what we have achieved in terms of sustainability and I want share with you what we do so very quietly on behalf of the University community.


If I dare begin - highlighting some facts about paper!

  • We have been using paper for 2,000 years. Even in today’s digital world, paper continues to be highly effective and a requirement in many people’s lives.
  • Perhaps the source of confusion over the sustainability of paper comes from misleading information about its impact on the environment. As trees grow, trees absorb C02 and, with paper being a wood product, it can also store carbon throughout its lifetime. We all know paper is produced from wood and wood is a natural and renewable material. If used and disposed of responsibly, paper can be inherently sustainable.
  • Responsible forest management has meant that, between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by 44,000 Square Kilometres - that’s an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to over 1,500 football pitches every day!


Forest Management

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international non-profit, multi-stakeholder organisation established in 1993 to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.

When used on paper and printed products, the FSC logo is assurance that it is made with, or contains, wood that comes from FSC certified forests or from post-consumer waste.

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third-party certification.

The PEFC logo provides an assurance to purchasers of paper products that the wood fibre originates from PEFC certified, sustainably managed forests.


And here’s the important part…

All the paper we purchase on your behalf in Print and Mail is FSC branded and our main paper supplier is both FSC® and PEFC™ certified! They are also EUTR compliant which ensures no illegal timber can be sold in the EU and ISO14001 EMS accredited which is a voluntary, environmental standard than organisations can certify to.

Furthermore, we ensure that paper used by our partners to print any documents outside the University is also FSC branded and, where possible, purchased from PEFC certified suppliers.

Keep a look out for an upcoming blog on paper disposal at the University!

Keep up to date on the latest news

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on the Universities paper trail is linked to the following SDGs:

      • Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
      • Goal 10: Sustainable Cities and Communities
      • Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
      • Goal 13: Climate Action
      • Goal 15: Life on Landx

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.