Saving Forests by Using Paper?

Jim McDonald

"Unless people have a general understanding about sustainable forestry, demand for products and some of the true threats to global forests, the negative perceptions continue." – James McDonald, Sustainability Manager, International Paper, on the public's misconception about the causes of global deforestation.

Oct. 21, 2013 (TriplePundit) - "How many of you have a line at the end of your email (or gotten an email) that says, 'Before printing this email, please consider the effects on the environment?' From a resource perspective and a wise use of natural resources, that's a wise idea, but what I would like to do is challenge that."

That's how International Paper's James McDonald started his SXSW Eco discussion refuting the idea that most of us have that printing or using paper in the office causes deforestation and harms the environment.

Well, you might be thinking, he works for a paper company, what else is he going to say? McDonald acknowledged that it sounds self-serving, but still he was determined to lay out his argument. "The truth is," he said, "there are facts out there we'd like to go ahead and talk about."

Setting aside the email paper use issue initially, McDonald weighed in on paper versus plastic, or renewable versus non-renewable resources.

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