Acting responsibly: our culture for nature.

Inapa Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit

Responsible use of natural resources and consistent decarbonisation of our business processes are central elements of our corporate culture. As Europe’s leading 360° service provider for paper, packaging, large-format printing and logistics, we have a special responsibility towards all market participants when it comes to sustainability. We demand and promote good environmental and social practices throughout the value chain of our products. We encourage manufacturers to produce their products in the most environmentally friendly and sustainable way possible and our customers to give preference to such products.

Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit bei Inapa, Detailaufnahme Jahresringe am Baumstamm

The two pillars of the Inapa environmental strategy

We see our environmental strategy as a holistic task for all employees, suppliers and partners. In its implementation, we focus on two elementary areas of our company: our operational processes and our product range. Sustainable use of energy and resources is just as important to us as responsible product range management, in which we constantly check our sources and products.

Responsible operational procedures

Responsible product range management

Environment: Frequently asked questions

Does the use of paper harm the environment and climate?

Paper and pulp production is an energy-intensive process with high water requirements. Papers made from wood-fibre-based pulp also require a lot of wood. These are factors that can have a negative impact on the environment and climate if production is not carried out in accordance with the principles of sustainability and the lowest possible environmental impact.

Fact 1

Wood is a natural and renewable material. Independent, recognised forestry certification systems ensure that the wood fibres come from sustainably managed sources.

Fact 2

Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world and represents a functioning model of the circular economy – production, use, recycling and reuse – like no other. The recycling rate for paper in Europe is 74%. 56% of the fibre raw material used in the European paper industry comes from recovered paper. For paper packaging, the recycling rate is even higher at 83%, ahead of metal, glass and plastic (European Paper Recycling Council, Monitoring Report, 2020, Eurostat, 2019). 

Fact 3

Modern pulp/paper mills cover 60% or more of their energy requirements (electricity and steam) from thermal utilisation of biofuel from pulp production, which means they are climate neutral. By purchasing green energy from the grid, factories can achieve virtually climate-neutral production. (Cepi, Key Statistics, 2020).

Fact 4

Modern pulp/paper mills return over 90% of their water requirements to the environment thanks to elaborate purification processes resulting in water of drinking quality. Actual consumption has been reduced by 40%. (Cepi, Key Statistics, 2020)

These are all arguments that suggest paper has a positive environmental balance which is better than often assumed. Inapa promotes responsible paper consumption. Double-sided printing in the office and separate collection systems reduce costs and improve sustainability. Once a paper product has served its purpose, it can be placed in the recycling bin and collected for recycling along with other used paper products from businesses and households.

Are certificates helpful when making purchasing decisions?

Not least in view of the increasing orientation of purchasing decisions towards environmental criteria, environmental certificates also represent an important basis for decision-making in the case of paper. They should fulfil three requirements:

  1. Clear, verifiable award conditions 

  2. Auditing/monitoring according to recognised procedural principles by independent third parties 

  3. Institutional separation of setting of standards and contract award review.

Is the eco-balance of recycled paper or paper based on alternative fibre materials better?

According to the Federal Environment Agency and other institutions, recycled paper has advantages in terms of environmental balance, material, water and energy consumption compared to virgin fibre paper. A study by the IFEU Institute confirms this, but also emphasises non-quantifiable parameters and the use of partly outdated emission values. The authors point out that functioning paper recycling requires a sufficient inflow of virgin fibre. So recycled paper alone is not enough, primary fibre is necessary.

Where can I get more information about the environment and paper?

We highly recommend the Nachhaltigkeit von A-Z blog in the Ökologie & Gesellschaft, Papierwelten sections of the Steinbeis Papier website. (Only available in German.)

Using keywords, you will find useful factual information on the topic there.

Many informative insights on the topic of paper (in German) and the environment are also provided by Media Mundo, an industry initiative for sustainable development in media production led by the Professional Association for Media Production (Fachverband Medienproduktion (f:mp.)) 

Always worth a visit is the Myths & Facts section of Two Sides. Two Sides is an initiative run by commercial enterprises from the graphic arts industry and serves to promote the responsible use of print and paper. The large number of verifiable facts provided here help to dispel many outdated prejudices.

Anyone looking for comprehensive facts and figures about the European paper industry need look no further than the CEPI, its trade association. A separate extensive section of the CEPI website deals with the topic of sustainability and the circular economy.

The website of the German Paper Industry Association not only provides access to extensive statistical material including raw material usage, energy consumption and emission figures. In the Positions and Issues section, you will find many cross-sector statements and position papers on key environmental issues. (Only available in German.)

Get in touch!

Do you have any questions or need further information on the topic of the environment and paper? Then feel free to contact our expert.

Umwelt und Nachhaltigkeit bei Inapa: Jetzt Kontakt aufnehmen