Double A, making its paper from farmed eucalyptus trees in Thailand, which originated from Australia, was found to be the most environmentally sound of all eight papers tested, with an environmental price of $0.04 per ream. The worst environmental performer, in Indonesia, was priced at $0.39 per ream.
Farmed trees are different from plantation trees or old growth forests as no land clearing takes place to plant the trees, maintaining the natural environment's biodiversity.
Double A's farmed Australian eucalyptus trees are planted in the gaps between farmers' rice, cassava and corn crops. More than one million Thai contract farmers take part in the Double A farmed trees program.
Access Economics developed its environmental cost model based on a range of benchmarks including deforestation, water consumption, effluents, contribution to landfill and carbons emissions.
Steve Brown, director, Access Economics says, "The environmental impact of paper production has been largely ignored over the years in countries all over the world, especially when paper manufacturers set their product price.".
Seventeen per cent of the world's paper is made from logging natural forest and left to regenerate without human assistance, 37 per cent of paper is made from natural forest that is logged and then re-generated via seeding, 29 per cent of paper is sourced from managed plantations, while one per cent of paper is still sourced from tropical rain forest.
Thirawit Leetavorn, Double A senior executive vice president, "There are a myriad of ways for copy paper producers to responsibly manage their environmental impact. It is important that paper is sourced from environmentally sustainable sources, but manufacturers have to also manage their resource consumption and carbon emissions more carefully.
The Access Economics report used an environmental cost model to compare eight leading paper manufacturers' environmental impact.
Double A says its paper is the only copy paper available in Australia that is made from farmed trees.
The Access Economics report considered a variety of environmental impacts in the production of paper while putting together this report. An equally important aspect was water usage and energy consumption.
Double A sources its water from a purpose-built reservoir, so its mill places no strain on the local public water resources. Moreover, Double A's water consumption is 90 per cent less than the industry average.
Double A uses tree waste (such as bark and lignin) to generate energy to run the mill. This generates more energy than the mill can use, so Double A feeds the energy it does not need back to the local grid.