150 Years of Sustainability

French Paper has produced color papers for more than 150 years, and at French, the art of papermaking includes a commitment to protecting the environmental and conserving natural resources. Our environmentally-friendly paper is made by minimizing carbon emissions, maximizing recycled fiber, and sourcing North American materials. 

A note about color papers: We find ourselves competing in global market with paper manufacturers that are nameless and where environmental practices are non-existent. Knowing where your paper comes from is the first step you can make to ensure your paper is climate-friendly. When you choose French Paper, you can be confident that your paper purchase has the smallest environmental footprint.


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1. Green Energy: 100% Emission-Free

French Paper has had one of the lowest CO2 emissions in the paper industry for decades.
All French papers are made using 100% renewable electricity generated by an on-site, emission-free hydroelectric plant.

French Paper’s hydro generators were installed in 1922 and since then the generators have conserved well over a million barrels of fossil fuels and related emissions. French Paper can also produce surplus energy for the local utility company supplying power to the community.

2. Sustainable Fiber

French Paper is known for pioneering recycled papers. When French introduced 100% recycled Speckletone in 1955, we were the first to imagine that a recycled sheet of paper could be beautiful – and we never looked back. Today, French Paper has the unique ability to make high-quality, specialty papers using hemp fiber, post-consumer waste (PCW) fiber, and envelope clippings. We make beautiful colored papers that are “green” through and through.

French Paper is certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council ®(FSC®). FSC® is a global organization working to eliminate habitat destruction, water pollution, displacement of indigenous peoples and violence against wildlife. Use of the logo requires the participation of an FSC certified printer or convertor. Your printer will secure approval and artwork for the FSC label.

The recycled fiber that French Paper purchases is process-chlorine free (PCF).
The virgin fiber that French Paper purchases is elemental-chlorine free (ECF).

Black and white FPC 100% hydroelectric green power logo

3. Clean Water

French Paper is located on the banks of the St. Joseph River, a tributary of Lake Michigan, and we are proud stewards of a healthy river ecosystem. We invested in a very deep fish ladder on the St. Joseph River which allows salmon, steelhead, and other migrating fish, a safe passage around the hydropower dam, on their journey to reach critical habitats such as spawning grounds.