The WWF Paper Scorecard focuses on the major impacts arising from the pulp and paper sector and combines them into a self-assessment tool to score all paper grades.
It covers the use of recycled fibres, responsible sourcing of virgin fibres, minimising carbon dioxide emissions and management and processing methods to reduce water pollutants.
The scorecard is based on a WWF weighting of the importance of each impact, which have been allocated a maximum score of 10 or 20 points, adding to a potential 100 points. The higher the score the lower the environmental footprint.
The move marks the start of a push on paper procurement by the NGO following a three-year collaboration with buyers including Canon, Ikea, Lafarge, McDonald’s and Unilever.
WWF will contact paper producers and merchants to encourage them to score their products. It said it has already had positive signals from several firms.
In October, WWF will launch "globally relevant" guidance to help buyers source responsibly produced products. The guide will highlight paper production issues, give examples of firms sourcing paper responsibly and promote the scorecard as a tool that can also be used by buyers.
A networking website will also be launched for responsible paper buyers and producers. Producers will be able to post their verified scores for buyers to see.