Environmental Paper Network

About the Paper Calculator

The Paper Calculator was developed and operated by Environmental Defense Fund from 2005 until 2011, at which time it was transferred to the ownership of the Environmental Paper Network.

The Paper Calculator is an innovative design-for-environment tool that allows users to calculate and compare the environmental impacts of different paper choices. Since its launch in 2005, the Paper Calculator has rapidly grown into a unique and widely respected online resource, with monthly visitors now in the thousands and dozens of high-profile companies and NGOs citing its results.

The Paper Calculator is based upon an analytical model originally developed by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in concert with the Paper Task Force, a voluntary, private-sector initiative created to develop recommendations for purchasing environmentally preferable paper. The Paper Task Force report was published in 1995 and represented a peer-reviewed study of the environmental impacts of paper production and disposal. In 2005, EDF built an analytical model based upon the original Paper Task Force findings and updated to reflect the most current paper industry data. Then in 2008, the tool began a rigorous third-party examination in which scientists and environmental NGOs updated the model and the inputs to reflect new advances in the understanding of the entire paper life-cycle, with major revisions completed by 2009.

In 2010, EDF and Environmental Paper Network (EPN) agreed to a transition plan that would ensure the long-term support and management of the tool through a transfer from EDF to EPN ownership. The EPN assumed ownership of the tool in April 2011 and is now solely responsible for the content and on- going management of the Paper Calculator.

What Users Are Saying

"The Paper Calculator has been an instrumental tool at Starbucks, providing us with a consistent, verified, third-party lifecycle assessment of the impacts of our paper buying practices.

"When we introduced the country's first ever post-consumer fiber paper hot cup, our use of the Paper Calculator provided Starbucks with the ability to make valid claims around the environmental benefits of that investment.

"Since then, the Paper Calculator has become our standard tool for vetting the attributes of our sustainability claims around paper procurement."

Jim Hanna, Director of Environmental Affairs
Starbucks Coffee Company

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For information about the life cycle analysis used in the Paper Calculator, click here.

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Web Design by Jenny Greer at Sound Mind Media.   Paper Calculator Development by NacreData L.L.C..