In the business of paper, it is becoming increasingly important for conscientious companies to “think green” and do their part to help preserve our environment. Many companies have admirable environmental policies in place, but even among those, Germany-based Buettenpapierfabrik Gmund stands out. Sustainability, low-impact & energy-independent production, and reduction of waste are hallmarks of the Gmund brand.
Four concerns — water, waste, materials, energy — form the pillars of Gmund’s “Eco” certification program. The “Eco” certificate attests to Gmund’s commitment to their self-imposed green guidelines and their attention toward addressing the realities of paper production in a responsible and sustainable way. The presence of the “Eco” logo on a product line, brochure, or website indicates this. Much in the same way as the FSC certificate, the “Eco” stamp is a sign of quality. Being the retailer of many of the Gmund paper lines domestically, it is with pride that LCI Paper can report: Gmund has a “green” slate!
Beginning with the raw materials, Gmund takes an aggressively green stance. Certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council, an accreditation group responsible for the oversight of sustainable and responsible wood production globally) since 2006, the company is determined to use only the greenest of materials — all components go through a rigorous inspection process, including a “background check” to determine the place of origin, so as not to conflict with any environmental guidelines!
70% of the energy used by Gmund during manufacturing is produced by the plant itself, through a combination of hydroelectric power, solar (photovoltaic) power and cogeneration, in which an engine acts as a generator and heat source. This self-sufficiency drastically reduces Gmund’s carbon footprint; in fact, the energy produced in this way is 71% CO2-free! Additionally, the company installed a new emission-reducing boiler in 2009. Powered by natural gas, the boiler allows the company to produce only as much energy as is needed for production, avoiding any wasteful energy excess
Continuing the trend of sustainable production, Gmund owns and operates a unique, environmentally friendly ozone-based water purification and circulatory system. This method of “treating” waste water requires nothing more than an ozone generator, avoiding the use of any other agents commonly used in water purification. This allows Gmund to reduce their overall water usage during production by reusing water repeatedly, and vastly diminishes the harmful chemical byproducts that are a part of most conventional purification systems.
Lastly, the separation and reuse, if possible, of any waste produced is crucial to a good sustainability policy. Through a diligent recycling program, Gmund has eliminated or recycled 82% of its factory waste over the past decade. You can see some of the fruits of this in Gmund’s “Colors” line of papers, themselves composed of 25% pre-consumer waste; in other words, recycled factory castoffs!
- Shop Gmund Colors Paper
- Former Gmund Worldwide Sales Director, Herbert Eibach, gave a fascinating, in-depth interview about the mill’s industry-leading eco-friendly practices. Listen to the interviews or read the transcripts to learn more: Gmund’s Paper Making Tradition – Herbert Eibach Interview Part 1
- Gmund’s Paper Making Tradition – Herbert Eibach Interview Part 2