How it works:

Take a look behind the scenes at how ProductBio accounts for impact liabilities along a category value chain and assesses offsets based on environmental and social product declarations and claims, and based on your organization’s EPP coverage.


A printer and a well-stocked supply of paper is essential for every office. To be eco-friendly, most of us know to recycle paper to save trees.

This is a good start, but it is not good enough.

What you should know

To understand sustainable paper more deeply, we need to know stages of its lifecycle beyond just use and disposal. A lot of work is done to bring paper to consumers and to help dispose of paper that has been used. When work is done, there are environmental, social, and sometimes fiscal impacts that naturally occur. When you pay for a ream of paper, these are the liabilities that you are paying for. Scroll down to see what you didn’t know about paper’s impact on the world around us.

Stage 1


When ingredients for paper are being sourced, they have environmental and social impacts.

Stage 2


When paper is manufactured, there are environmental and social impacts.

Stage 3


When paper is packaged, there are environmental and social impacts.

Stage 4


When paper is distributed, there are environmental and social impacts.

Stage 5


When paper is used, there are environmental and social impacts.

Stage 6


When paper is disposed, there are environmental and social impacts.

What can you do about it?

Now you have seen how a single purchase of paper is associated with so many areas of concern. The good news is that each liability area can be offset by positive practices by manufacturers, consumers, and waste management.

Click on each of the green bars to browse related practices and ecolabels that certify sustainable products based on these practices.


Buy More Sustainably

ProductBio's database contains sustainability information for 400+ product categories. If you are an organization that wants to purchase more sustainably, let us know. We are happy to help.