Local people from forest communities in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam and came together in Bangkok recently to discuss forest issues that are priorities for them and to prepare for the upcoming XIV World Forestry Congress. The Congress, which is the largest and most significant gathering of the world's forestry sector, takes place in Durban, South Africa this September. “As one of the few observers here, and being responsible for supporting smallholder certification, it was great to hear about the issues and priorities for Asian communities,” reported Richard Laity, PEFC South East Asia, Projects and Development Officer. “We want to ensure that certification is inclusive by working closely with these forest communities, while we develop national forest certification systems.”
The National Recycling Coalition defines recycling as “A series of activities by which material that has reached the end of its current use is processed into material utilized in the production of new products.” The goal of paper recycling, then, is to supply paper and paper packaging manufacturers with enough mill-quality recovered fiber to meet their needs in making new products. And the paper industry, along with our partners in the states, has a very good record of success in doing that. The U.S. paper recovery rate in 2014 was 65.4 percent – up from 63.5 percent in 2013. In all, more than 50 million tons of paper and paper packaging was recovered for recycling last year. AF&PA has a goal to exceed 70 percent paper recovery for recycling by 2020. So how do we improve our performance so that we can grow paper recovery from 65.4 percent to 70 percent?
UPS (NYSE: UPS) today released its 13th annual Sustainability Report, highlighting its growing investment in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and commitment to log 20 million hours of volunteer time by the end of 2020. With its “Rolling Laboratory” approach, UPS accelerated its investment in an alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of more than 5,000 vehicles last year, increasing the number of vehicles by 61 percent over 2013 and adding 1,100 natural gas vehicles. According to the report, UPS logged 154 million miles in 2014 toward its goal of driving 1 billion miles with the fleet by the end of 2017 – an almost threefold increase from 2013.
“Sustainable, PEFC-certified timber provides architects and the construction industry with great opportunities,” highlighted Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, at a recent conference on promoting green procurement in green buildings. “The possibilities are rather exciting in addressing the challenges of growing populations, especially in Asia where there is a need for housing constructed with as minimal environmental footprint as possible.”
The 2014 Sustainability Report highlights Kimberly-Clark's progress toward its multi-year Sustainability 2015 goals and introduces the framework for the company's new 2022 platform. The target year, 2022, will coincide with the celebration of the company's 150th anniversary. Building on the Sustainability 2015 program, Sustainability 2022 is a commitment to: *Invest in innovative social programs so that people who lack the basic essentials in life - sanitation, health, wellbeing - get the help they need *Innovate to extend the life of product and packaging materials *Reduce pressure on precious natural resources with the development of sustainable alternatives
The WWF has published a ‘Timber Scorecard’ report assessing over 100 companies’ performance in terms of sourcing sustainable timber and timber products. Pearson was given a ranking of ‘two trees’ out of a possible three in the scorecard. This indicates Pearson has made a very good start on the sustainability journey through the commitments the company has made to source FSC, PEFC and recycled products as well as establishing control mechanisms over the way it uses timber products. Peter Hughes, Sustainability Director at Pearson said: “At Pearson, our commercial success goes hand in hand with a focus on operating sustainably and responsibly. This is the right thing to do and positions us strongly to succeed in a fast-changing global environment. “We have been members of WWF’s Global Forest and Trade Network for over a decade and understand the importance of sustainable sourcing and efficient usage of paper. We’re pleased with the WWF scorecard rating, but will continually look at ways of improving our impact on the environment.”
UPM receives a top score in the recently released WWF UK Timber Scorecard. The scorecard assesses more than 100 retailers, manufacturers and traders in the UK for their commitment and performance in responsible forest trade during the years 2013 – 2014. UPM was one of a small number of companies which received the highest score of 3. The scorecard looks at companies’ practices and policies in relation to sustainably sourced timber and timber products, against a backdrop of increasing deforestation. The top-performing companies are characterized by the clarity and simplicity with which they report their timber and timber product purchasing and performance.
There is a threat to the boreal forest in Canada. It’s more dangerous than fire or insect infestation, and it’s more destructive to local communities, First Nations and workers than economic downturns or changing market conditions. The greatest threat to the Boreal is misinformation promulgated by some environmental activists who don’t believe in inclusiveness and don’t respect the views and interests of those who live and work in the Boreal every day. The most recent example of activist over-reach came from an American activist group, ForestEthics and their Washington State-based Executive Director, Todd Paglia. Mr. Paglia recently sent Resolute a letter absurdly claiming that they would no longer recognize Resolute as a member of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), and implicitly threatened the company with attack campaigns because we would “no longer receive the benefits and protections of the agreement.”
Combatting illegal logging and trade within the European Union is the focus of an agreement signed between the NGO Elephant Action League and the partners of the EU TREES project – organizations focused on fighting wildlife and forest crime. The agreement, which will last until the end of the TREES Project in April 2016, will enable the TREES Project partners to make use of the Elephant Action League-funded WildLeaks whistleblower platform. WildLeaks will receive anonymous information related to any forest crime, such as illicit timber extraction, log laundering, illegal timber transport and trade, forest products tax fraud, etc., through its secure platform, after which the information will be processed by project researchers.
The Ningbo city government is planning to shut down APP China's 600,000 tonne/yr cartonboard mill there to reduce air pollution. The mill, run by APP China subsidiary Ningbo Zhonghua Paper, has three cartonboard PMs. In 2014, local authorities announced a four-year plan to tackle the air pollution issue. The city has specified that some offending plants should be shut down or relocated by 2017. For the Ningbo Zhonghua mill, the authorities propose to permanently retire PM 1, and relocate the two bigger PMs.
Two Sides have been actively challenging organisations which use greenwash to mislead consumers regarding the environmental benefits of alternative media. They have done this by requesting that organisations carefully consider their messages and the potentially misleading anti-print and paper statements that are being made such as: ‘go paper-free and do your bit for the environment’ or ‘e-billing is more environmentally friendly than the traditional paper bill’. It is important, when organisations promote products and services, that they do not damage the Print and Paper industry and jeopardise the livelihood of the many thousands of people employed therein with possibly misleading statements. Two Sides have been reacting to misleading statements whenever they arise and engaging with major corporations and organisations. 2 months into the campaign and Two Sides report very encouraging results. Of the 25 organisations identified and challenged in a campaign that started at the end of May, 20 have responded favourably and removed the misleading claims.
The use of the PEFC framework to transfer Green House Gas (GHG) emission related data along the supply chain has been the subject of increasing interest among the bioenergy sector and other industry sectors processing forest-based materials in recent years. Key to this rising interest is the growing demand from governmental and private customers, particularly in Europe, that biomass used for energy production is from sustainable sources, such as PEFC-certified forests, and is delivered with credible and transparent information on GHG emissions linked to its production, processing and transport. In response, PEFC International has established a Task Force for the development of a voluntary mechanism for the transfer of GHG emission related data along the PEFC-certified supply chain. The objective of this newly established Task Force is to develop a set of technical requirements, which can be used as a strictly voluntary tool for data transfer.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has just released its 2015 progress report, "Growing our Future", which traces its journey to becoming one of the top forest certification programs in the world. Founded by the American forest industry, SFI is now a fully independent organization, governed by a three-chamber board reflecting the environmental, social and economic pillars of sustainability. In addition to SFI SFM, Millar Western holds two chain-of-custody certifications, PEFC and FSC, confirming that we have robust measures in place to prevent illegal or controversial timber from entering our supply chain. Each of our certifications helps us assure our customers, neighbours and other stakeholders that we are working responsibly as we grow our own future.
An Elkhart-based manufacturer of cardboard boxes already working to expand its operations in Elkhart is expanding elsewhere through a merger with another box-maker. In a deal announced Tuesday, July 7, Welch Packaging Group is merging with American Corrugated Products, a Columbus, Ohio-based company that specializes in packaging for the automotive industry. “American Corrugated Products has a mix of custom packaging solutions built on strong design capabilities which fits the Welch model like a glove,” Welch founder and CEO Scott Welch said in a statement. “This expands the talent, design and niche products that we can bring to our customer while broadening our automotive industry expertise. American Corrugated Products customers will greatly benefit from Welch’s geographic coverage and product capabilities.” Combined, the companies have 900 employees across six states. Welch Packaging was founded in Elkhart in 1985 and has facilities in Elkhart, Marion, Indianapolis, Chicago, and three Ohio plants in Columbus, Cleveland and Toledo. American Corrugated has plants in Jackson, Mich.; Evansville; Morehead, Ky.; Columbia, Tenn., and Dyersburg, Tenn. A statement from Welch Packaging did not specify how or if the companies’ leadership would be consolidated or how the merger might impact the people currently working at the companies. Calls and emails to a Welch company spokesperson for comment were not returned Tuesday afternoon. Welch Packaging has grown significantly in the last few years through the acquisition of other box-making companies. In May 2014, it acquired Go Packaging LLC in Lombard, Ill., and in March 2014 it bought Marion-based Indiana Corrugated. In November 2013, officials announced the acquisition of Nova Packaging, also in Marion. http://www.elkharttruth.com/news/business/2015/07/08/Elkhart-s-Welch-Packaging-group-merges-with-Ohio-based-American-Corrugated-Products.html
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) today announced its support for the South Sumatra Government in addressing deforestation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) through developing a multi-stakeholder approach to achieve responsible landscape management. APP, alongside IDH Sustainable Trade, the Dutch based NGO, is sponsoring today’s High Level Stakeholders Forum for Sustainable Landscape Approach, where stakeholders including representatives from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, partner countries, communities, NGOs and the private sector, are meeting to form one partnership to develop a GHG reduction model that is effective, integrated and comprehensive.
National PEFC members in South America gathered alongside 50 forestry sector representatives from around the continent with one key focus: to expand forest certification and the uptake of PEFC-certified products in the region. The ‘Forest Certification: Current Situation and Prospects’ conference, which took place in Montevideo in Spring this year, attracted participants with an interest in promoting sustainable forest management, from representatives of ministries, NGOs and academic and research institutions, to private companies and the press. “Thanks to this event we have been able to demonstrate to all the actors, and particularly the general public, the forestry sector’s commitment to act responsibly in all social and environmental aspects, as well as the economic ones,” said Atilio Ligrone, National Secretary of PEFC Uruguay and the Manager of the Society of Forest Producers, “clearly showcasing the significant work PEFC undertakes in safeguarding our forest resources.”
The China Forest Certification Council (CFCC) has announced that the Chinese Government has passed and is enacting immediately its new national forest certification regulations. These important rules set out the scope, framework, and requirements for all forest certifications operating in China. All forest certification activities must comply with the forest certification requirements which require adherence to Chinese national certification standards. “This is an important and historic step for Chinese forestry workers, Chinese forest dependent-communities and Chinese forests, as it recognizes the extensive work undertaken by a multitude of stakeholders to develop both the CFCC Chinese national forest certification and chain of custody certification standards and system,” said Mr. Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International. “In addition, both these national standards have been thoroughly assessed, resulting in international recognition through PEFC endorsement.”
American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman has issued the following statement regarding the letter sent today to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency from 46 of senators. The letter stated senators’ support of “biomass energy as a sustainable, responsible, renewable and economically significant energy source.” “The carbon neutrality of energy from biomass harvested from sustainably managed forests has been repeatedly recognized around the world. By using biomass manufacturing residuals, the paper and wood products industry is harnessing the energy value of the residuals before the CO2 is lost to the atmosphere through other means.