The Rolland Difference: Building a High Quality, Sustainable Paper Product
When it comes to paper production, there is often a trade-off — either the paper is eco-friendly, but lower in quality, or it is high-quality, but the production creates an unfavorable volume of CO2 gases. Rolland is seeking to change that perception. They have gone out of their way to prove that paper can be responsibly sourced and produced, while still maintaining the same level of quality on a wide range of paper types and weights.
Rolland has designed specific papers with eco-friendly properties in mind and have taken specific steps to make the papers some of the most environmentally-friendly on the market today.
High Quality Products for the Digital Age
Rolland might have launched the Enviro line in 2004, but it hasn’t stopped innovating in the recycled paper space. On the contrary, these products continue to be improved and updated, proving Rolland is still leading the way in producing innovative papers for a wide range of applications, while maintaining the environmentally friendly features.
Rolland Enviro Digital, Rolland Enviro Jet and Rolland Hitech are the top three uncoated post-consumer content papers we will be examining today. They are all engineered specifically for digital printing equipment, while at the same time offering great creative potential – their high levels of brightness, whiteness, and opacity consistently showcase vivid colors, solid black density and the sharpness needed for high-quality reproduction of photographs, illustrations, and graphics.
Beyond exceptional quality, these Rolland papers offer environmentally friendly options printers can be proud of. Compared to a ton of virgin paper, on average, using Rolland’s Enviro Papers will save:
- 17 trees
- 16,399 gallons of water
- 5,512 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions
- 1,678 lbs of solid waste
Rolland Hitech is an advanced environmentally-friendly digital paper with 30% PCW that has continued to improve. Where in the past, the line was only available up to 100lb weight, Rolland now offers Hitech in up to 110lb cover weight. This is an important step forward, giving printers and designers a much wider and more versatile set of options to choose from, while allowing them to ensure the entire project is printed on the same paper type for consistency.
But it’s not just new cover weights that set this line apart. In addition to being qualified on a wide range of digital presses that span all of the major brands and models on the market today, Rolland Hitech was recently certified by RIT for the HP Indigo 10000 and 12000 sheet sizes.
Rolland Hitech has excellent opacity and remarkable whiteness. In addition to the RIT certification for specific presses, it is also tested and approved for dry and liquid toners on digital printing equipment. Examples of applications this paper is perfect for include high-end documents, direct mail pieces, and promotional materials.
Rolland Enviro Digital
The Rolland Enviro Digital line is the first in a series of papers that are designed to give printers and designers an option that doesn’t force them to choose between excellent performance and environmental attributes
Rolland Enviro Digital is one of the few papers on the market that can boast being a 100% PCW digital paper — one of only a handful on the market today. It is processed chlorine free, FSC certified, and is ancient-forest friendly.
The Rolland Enviro Digital line is specifically engineered for digital sheetfed printing; it has been tested and approved on dry and liquid ink printing equipment, and it is HP Indigo three-star certified and laser guaranteed. This paper is best for jobs such as direct mail pieces, promotional materials, or business cards.
The line comes in four weights — two for text applications, and two for cover applications. They feature a smooth finish and a blue-white color tone, and features a Brightness (G.E.) of 92%, and a Whiteness (C.I.E.) of 130.
Rolland Enviro Jet
Like the Enviro Digital line, Rolland Enviro Jet is also 100% PCW recycled, which is a major differentiator when compared to other similar papers on the market today.
In particular, one key point to note in the Rolland Enviro Jet line is that it is a treated inkjet paper, one that has been certified to work well with both pigment- and dye-based inksets. Unlike with many digital papers on the market today, Rolland recognizes that many shops use both types of technologies, and has designed this line to allow one grade to be used across multiple technologies, allowing for a consistent look and feel across products produced on competing technologies. Rolland Enviro Jet is one of the few 100% recycled inkjet papers on the market today with quality and performance that can match nearly any virgin fiber option out there.
When it comes to applications, because of its versatility, Rolland Enviro Jet is suitable for an incredibly wide range of applications, including direct mail, transactional documents, or book publishing, to name but a few. It has a smooth finish and a blue-white color tone, with a Brightness (G.E.) of 92%, and a Whiteness (C.I.E.) of 130. The line comes in three bond weights: 24 lb (90 gsm), 28 lb (105 gsm), and 32 lb (120 gsm). The opacity for the 24 and 28 lb versions is 96%, while the opacity for the 32 lb version is 97%.
The Sustainable Choice
One of the things that set Rolland recycled papers apart from any other line is the use of biogas energy to produce them. Biogas, also called garbage gas, is methane captured from the decomposition of waste in a nearby landfill to prevent its release into the air. It is then purified and compressed, and transported in a dedicated 8-mile pipeline to fulfill 93% of the Rolland paper mill’s thermal energy needs instead of using traditional combustible fuels. Not only is biogas a renewable energy, it reduces CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons, or the equivalent of 23,400 compact cars annually. Because of biogas, Rolland Enviro products have less than half the environmental impact of the North American industry average for virgin and 100% recycled papers.
There are a range of benefits to using biogas as the primary power source for the plant beyond just the reduction of CO2 emissions:
- Biogas is mainly carbon dioxide and methane: When methane burns to produce steam for papermaking it becomes carbon dioxide, 21 times less harmful to the atmosphere.
- It is good business — The landfill operator collects biogas (previously burned off, creating no value), a utility operates the pipeline to Rolland, and both receive revenues as part of the supply chain.
- The investment in biogas has boosted the local economy, and continues to demonstrate Rolland’s corporate social responsibility.
Rolland is currently the only paper mill in North America operating on biogas produced from local landfills. The result is CO2 emissions that fall far below acceptable industry levels, and allows Rolland to operate a sustainable manufacturing facility with limited impact on climate change, which is not only good for business, but for society at large.
The Lifecycle Assessment Difference
Rolland is the only paper mill that makes its complete Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) available to anyone who wishes to read it, in full, on their website. The LCA is a method that is widely used to evaluate the environmental impact of a wide range of products, including paper. Rolland is proud of the work the company has done to ensure its papers aren’t just beautiful and functional, but they are also respectful of the environment, ensuring future generations will have as much to enjoy as we do today.
The LCA conforms, specifically, to the ISO 14040-14044 standards, which examines a product’s life from the raw materials extraction, through manufacturing and distribution, and finally to disposal. Because of using these standards, Rolland is also subject to a formal peer review process, ensuring the company is maintaining the highest level of integrity not just with the production of the products, but also with the reporting aspect.
The LCA gives Rolland a few distinct advantages when it comes to developing and maintaining its environmentally-friendly lines. One of those is the ability to see, at a granular level, how new papers, new weights, or new processes will impact the environment. The company strives to ensure every decision made is one that is informed by all the variables, and that supports the company goal of being as “green” and responsible as possible.
It is important to note that the LCA goes beyond simply measuring the amount of virgin fiber in a paper, or how much emissions are used in a paper’s production. On a regular basis, the company uses the LCA to consistently improve on an incredibly wide range of factors, including:
- Climate Change: the potential of greenhouse gases released during production to impact global warming levels over time
- Water Availability: this examines the water consumption throughout the process, and the impact that has on the environment
- Water Quality: this measures the fresh water ecotoxicity and eutrophication levels associated with the Rolland products
- Human Health: this takes into account a wide range of factors, including respiratory effects and ozone completion, among others
- Ecosystems and Biodiversity: ensuring the land is still viable for the many species that call it home is a critical step, and this measures the amount of acidification the process produces, and the use of land
- Non-Renewable Resources: There is no denying that not every resource can be easily replaced, so Rolland tracks and measures things such as metals, minerals, and fossil fuels to ensure the utmost care is being taken
The Rolland Story
Today, Rolland is the leading producer of commercial papers, with an undisputed reputation for environmental stewardship. In fact, Rolland is the only North American fine paper manufacturer using biogas energy and up to 100% recycled content to serve businesses, governments, and distributors.
What began as a small mill with a few workers in 1882 has blossomed into a fine paper provider that paves the way in product quality and environmental responsibility. A brief history of the company includes:
- In 1928, the company went public as the new Rolland Paper Company Ltd.
- In 1955, they undertook a vast modernization and expansion program.
- In 1989, the company began manufacturing recycled papers.
- In 2004, Rolland became the first company in North America to use local and renewable biogas energy for most of its thermal needs. The company also launched its Enviro line of 100% recycled papers.
One point of pride for the company is not only that the papers themselves are environmentally friendly, but the process to create them is as well. For example, the de-inking facility uses a closed-loop process that allows them to use each drop of water needed in the system 17 times. The paper mill itself recirculates each drop a total of 30 times. This is accomplished using advanced water treatment equipment which ensures a “clean water in, clean water out” process.
Rolland has taken a holistic approach to ensuring it isn’t just using some recycled content and calling itself “green”. Rolland is dedicated to providing the highest quality products that are also happen to be some of the most environmentally-friendly production on the market today.
That philosophy is evident in the three papers highlighted here. Rolland Hitech, Rolland Enviro Digital, and Rolland Enviro Jet are each unique papers suited to a wide range of tasks, depending on what a printer or designer might need. Not only is Rolland a leading producer of commercial papers, they are also have an undisputed reputation for environmental stewardship. They are proving that high quality doesn’t have to come with a high price tag for the environment, and “eco-friendly” doesn’t have to mean “less” in any way.