By providing over 20 standard metrics, EPAT allows suppliers to share environmental performance data with customers they choose.
The Environmental Paper Assessment Tool (EPAT), operated by the Sustainable Paper Group (an environmental consultancy specializing in sustainable solutions for paper and paper-based packaging) is a web-based application that allows buyers of paper and paper-based packaging to evaluate the environmental performance of their supply chain. By providing a consistent framework and over 20 standard metrics, EPAT allows suppliers to share environmental performance data with specific customers. EPAT has been in use for the past 15 years by several North American companies and is now in its third improved version. The tool is based on measured data from supplying pulp and paper mills for over 25 performance indicators in the lifecycle of paper-based products – including greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprint data.
Buyers of print, paper and paper-based packaging can benefit from EPAT by accessing all key supplier data in one location for viewing and benchmarking. For suppliers, EPAT demonstrates transparency and a commitment to sustainability while helping engage customers on the many environmental aspects of paper and paper-based packaging manufacturing. The app also shows historical improvements and can help suppliers benefit from their sustainability efforts. Staples, Macmillan Publishers, PubWorx, Lindenmeyr and Midland Paper are among leading companies that currently use EPAT. In its comprehensive guide on Sustainable Procurement of Forest Products, the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development stated: “EPAT is a comprehensive, online decision-support tool to facilitate direct dialogue and collaboration between producers and buyers on various issues, and allows users to evaluate trade-offs in purchasing decisions.”