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How are EPAT results calculated?

Suppliers report data annually for each of the 19 EPAT key indicators of environmental performance. The majority of these indicators are reported at the mill level - except for the percentage of recovered content, which is reported at the product level. All the supplier data is then normalized on a scale of 0 to 10 according to mill type and industry average.

A buyer signs into EPAT and weights the 19 EPAT key indicators of environmental performance. Weights are assigned to indicators based on the buyer’s purchasing goals which may include product type, mill type, region, etc. It is up to the buyer to decide which indicators of environmental performance are most relevant to the purchasing decision and weight EPAT indicators accordingly. For example, a buyer may give CO2 (carbon dioxide) a higher weight due to a business environmental policy with the goal of purchasing paper that addresses climate change. EPAT results will reflect this goal through weighting and provide results that emphasize suppliers who perform well according to greenhouse gas reduction efforts. 


EPAT calculates a score for a product by multiplying the supplier’s normalized industry performance data by the weight assigned by the buyer.

Why weight indicators?

EPAT includes 19 key indicators of environmental performance across the supply chain of paper source, manufacturing and transportation. This allows companies the opportunity to look at the range of environmental considerations from the forest through the manufacturing process and evaluate trade-offs. Weighting allows buyers the functionality to weight – or emphasize – criteria that are most relevant.

Weighting also helps buyers move beyond the limitations of prescriptive paper purchasing approaches. Given the complexity and size of the paper supply chain it’s not quite enough to choose a paper type based on one or two performance criteria. EPAT allows users to look at recovered content, certification, climate change, energy use, and much more in a single, consistent framework for all their suppliers.

The weighting process asks companies to understand and communicate their approach to selecting products that meet their environmental performance objectives. EPAT results are relative to how a company weights performance indicators; no two companies will generate the same results for the same paper mill. As such, EPAT results do not indicate that a higher number always means better performance. Instead, EPAT is a way to provide companies a framework to make informed environmental decisions based on data.

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