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Paper is a product of wood; many are quick, therefore, to speculate that making paper destroys forests. One of the advantageous characteristics of paper, however, is that the raw material, the pulp, is renewable and recyclable. The paper and print industry, therefore, has an opportunity to harness this characteristic to reduce its ecological footprint. This is just one of the initiatives Novus Holdings has adopted to lead the way in sustainable natural resource management in the print and manufacturing industry.

According to the World Bank*, about 1.6 billion people depend on forest resources for their livelihoods; including 60 million indigenous people who are fully dependent upon the forests and an additional 350 million who depend on them primarily for income and subsistence. Forests play an important role in climate regulation by absorbing and storing carbon dioxide and ultimately improving the quality of air that we breathe. **On average, one acre of forest can absorb and store about two and a half tonnes of carbon in a year. The average tree at its most productive carbon storage stage will absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide in a year, and at this rate the release is enough to support two of us with oxygen to breathe for a year.

“Realising the ecological importance of the world’s forests, we have accepted the responsibility of minimising our ecological footprint by proactively managing production efficiency, emissions, energy and water consumption and waste reduction,” mentions Christoff Botha, spokesperson and Group Executive of the Heatset and Labels division at Novus Holdings.

At Novus Holdings responsible paper sourcing practices are implemented that comply with the globally recognised Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) – FSC-C022948 Chain of Custody (CoC) certification***. This certification allows for consumers to choose products that support responsible forest management. The Group was the first African printing organisation to receive this certification.

Realising the importance of sustainable resource usage, the Group has worked towards attaining the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) – PEFC/01-31-346 Chain of Custody certification at their Paarl Media Cape, Paarl Media KZN and Novus Print Solutions facilities. Both the FSC® CoC and PEFC™ certifications provide consumers with the opportunity to track products back to their point of origin of responsible, well-managed forestry, controlled and recycled resources.

Supporting a closed loop eco-industrial approach, Novus Holdings has identified its waste paper as a resource instead of a liability. The Group’s tissue division uses waste paper produced by the printing operations in the production of domestic tissue paper products.

Following South Africa’s commitment to the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) and its targets for sustainability, especially in the areas of technology and capacity building, Novus Holdings has successfully differentiated itself as the leading steward within the printing and manufacturing industry.

“We need to strengthen our focus and collaboration within our industry in driving environmentally responsible business practices with all our business partners and customers. By encouraging the improvement in environmental performance of our suppliers, raising employee awareness and constantly reviewing our environmental objectives, we are confident in continuing our journey in building a greener culture,” concludes Botha.

For more information about Novus Holdings and the company’s commitment to sustainable resource management, visit

*The World Bank (2009). Forests Sourcebook, Agriculture and Rural Development.

**Urban Forestry Network (2014). Mississippi Forestry Commission.

*** Not available at Paarl Labels and Correll Tissue.