The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today announced a new initiative to ensure family-owned forests in the southern United States can continue to meet the growing and changing global market needs for sustainable wood supplies, while protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat and other forest benefits, now and for future generations. This announcement comes on the heels of a new report from AFF - Vanishing Pieces of the Puzzle - that highlights the most significant resources, or benefits, Americans receive from family-owned forests – with wood for products being a top benefit, along with clean air and water, wildlife habitat and species biodiversity, space for recreation and rural jobs. The report also revealed regional priorities, with wood and wildlife habitat emerging as top in the South. Through this new initiative, AFF will assess how these forest benefits vary across woodbaskets in the south and how sustainable land management can play a role in protecting and enhancing them. Overall, the forest products industry in the South produces 57 percent of the total U.S. timber harvested by volume. This industry supports more than 439,000 jobs, as well as indirect employment, totaling 1.1 million jobs. The economic engine behind this industry is driven largely by private forests, where in the South, 58 percent are owned by families and individuals. In recent years, some southern forests and forest owners have seen an increase in demand for wood pellets and other products, for both domestic and European markets. Through this assessment, AFF will gain insight into how these demands are impacting the South's family forests and identify potential strategies to help family woodland owners continue to sustain these forests and their benefits. Not coincidentally, southern forests also rank at the top of all forests in biodiversity when measured by wildlife and plant species, with 12 southern states ranking in the top 20 in the U.S. in number of species. According to an April 2015 report issued by the National Academy of Science, three of the top five priority locations for conservation fall within this southern region. “AFF has a long history, almost 75 years, of successfully working with family forest landowners through the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) and other AFF programs, to ensure forests provide for all Americans,” said Rita Hite, Executive Vice President of Woodlands at AFF. “The Southern Initiative is just one of the ways we are looking into how we can evolve and strengthen our programs to ensure family-owned forests meet our needs today and in the future. We hope that our partners in the forest community and the forest products supply chain, from manufacturers to consumers, see the potential for a greater impact on the ground with this regionalized approach and work with us to bring our initiative to fruition.” The initiative, which is launching in the lead up to the 75th anniversary of ATFS, will be conducted in two phases. Phase one focuses on building an understanding of the priority wildlife habitat areas and wood supply needs by conducting an assessment of existing data and gathering input from forest industry partners, ATFS State Committees, forest landowners, state agencies, conservation partners, and brand companies. Initial input from these AFF partners suggest that one of the largest barriers to sustainable supply for forest products companies is family forest landowners who are not engaged in active land management. Further analysis on landowner attitudes, interests and barriers to sustainable forest management will also be conducted throughout the assessment. http://www.twosidesna.org/US/American-Forest-Foundation-Announces-New-Initiative-Across-13-Southern-States-Regarding-Sustainably-Managed-Wood
More than 75% of consumers say that environmentally sound packaging has an influence on the beverage brand they buy, according to Tetrapak’s Environment Research 2015 . The global survey of some 6,000 consumers across 12 different countries revealed a growing appetite among consumers for products that tick the right environmental boxes. When asked about recent purchasing habits, two-thirds said they have bought environmental products, even when they cost more, while around the same proportion have avoided specific brands or items due to environmental concerns.
India has become the latest country to join PEFC – an addition that sees PEFC reach the 40 National members milestone. With Japan joining in 2014, and China and Indonesia achieving endorsement of their national forest certification systems the same year, the addition of India’s Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF) underpins that momentum is gathering pace for PEFC in the Asia region.
The TFT and Ata Marie study was useful in verifying the foundational data of our existing supply chain and helping to identify some of the challenges and opportunities facing the business in the years ahead. We agree with the Rainforest Alliance that the future fibre supply of a business cannot be entirely predicted on the basis of one report, and that the work to ensure that our plantations are efficient and productive, as documented in our FCP Implementation Plan 2015 and Beyond, must be an ongoing priority.
R.C. Brayshaw & Company has joined Two Sides North America, the non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the responsible production, use, and sustainability of print and paper. “We are very pleased to be a new member company of Two Sides North America. When my father, Richard C. Brayshaw started the company in 1979, he made a commitment to do whatever was necessary to protect the environment,” stated Tom Brayshaw, President and CEO. “Our commitment to environmental awareness is ongoing and means taking a responsible approach at all our facilities and operations. At R.C. Brayshaw & Company we always look for ways to help make our communities better places to live and raise our families.”
Arlington Swifty Printing has joined Two Sides North America, the non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the responsible production, use, and sustainability of print and paper. “The information Two Sides provides is very important and will allow us to get the true facts out to our customers about printing and paper. Two Sides is a perfect fit with our own environmental friendly approach here at Swifty,” said Charles Pappas, Arlington Swifty Printing.
Many small steps add up to large ones. That’s a simple way to sum up Iggesund Paperboard’s environmental work. It is easy to give examples of Iggesund’s multi-million euro investments and their importance. But the company also makes many smaller investment decisions which have important environmental aspects. One of these is the wooden bridge that links the mill at Iggesund with the wastewater purification facility on the adjacent island of Skälön. “Long-term environment work is less about making a few big decisions and more about making many small decisions which include the environmental aspects,” explains Anna Mårtensson, Environmental Manager at the company’s Swedish paperboard mill, Iggesund Mill. “In this case a wooden bridge was a better environmental choice than a concrete one.”
We are encouraged to read recent comments by Greenpeace that it is willing to engage Northern communities, workers, First Nations and governments in finding long-term sustainable solutions for the boreal. Clearly, Greenpeace has heard the voices of the people of the boreal. Resolute has been consistent on the need for inclusive discussions, negotiations, and compromise solutions, developed in collaboration with governments, communities, workers and First Nations that lead to the most sustainable outcomes. And we welcome this change of heart by Greenpeace.
PEFC-certified wood is at the heart of the new Gold-rated Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) building in Berlin, Germany. From wooden doors and furniture fittings, to roofing and wooden windows, wood originating from sustainably managed, PEFC-certified forests can be found throughout the new building. In March 2015, the new BMBF building was awarded the Gold Standard by BNB (Sustainable Building Rating System; a Sustainable Building Guide for Federal Building). To achieve such a high rating, at least 80% of all the wood-based products used in the construction had to originate from a sustainably managed forest and come with a recognized certificate – such as a PEFC.
Informed procurement choices can support sustainable forest management, help protect workers’ health and the rights of those who depend on forests. Increasingly, those involved in public sector and corporate purchasing are setting ambitious targets which aim to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. The ‘Sustainable Procurement Guide for Wood and Paper-based Products’ from the World Resources Institute (WRI) & World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is designed to help procurement professionals do just this, enabling them to make informed choices and gain a better understanding of the challenges involved in the development and implementation of procurement policies for paper, packaging and solid wood products.
Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) today announced it is committing to retire around 7,000 hectares of commercial plantation areas to protect threatened carbon-rich peatlands, the first time that plantations on tropical peatland have been retired for conservation purposes worldwide. Peatland development in Indonesia represents one of the single largest terrestrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the world1. Retiring these plantation areas will help support the Government of Indonesia’s target of a 26 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.
The 2015 report showcases the company's progress against stated sustainability goals. Key accomplishments in this year's report include: 74% of electricity used in Domtar's pulp and paper mills was self-generated, outpacing the U.S. Pulp and Paper Industry average of 59%. 52% reduction in the recordable safety incident rate since 2008. 23% reduction in waste sent to landfills from Domtar's pulp and paper mills, and avoided landfilling materials equivalent to the weight of almost two Empire State Buildings since 2013. Sold the five-millionth ton of Forest Stewardship Council® certified paper in 2014, a first for the North American market. $1.35 million donated in community investments throughout 2014.
Desertification is one of the major environmental problems faced by Maghreb. The sustainable use of forests in these countries would help to mitigate and adapt to this global change. This is why MENFRI, the Mediterranean Network of Forestry Research and Innovation, gathered together forestry experts in Barcelona this summer to discuss opportunities and challenges brought by innovative solutions such as forest certification in the Mediterranean region. “If in the northern Mediterranean PEFC certification is well developed, it’s not the case in the south,” explained Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development at PEFC International, who travelled out to Spain to take part in the meeting. “The MENFRI project is therefore a great opportunity to discuss how forest certification could help Mediterranean forests and their products to be better valued.”
Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE: SEE), has been named a Green Giving Corporation by Matthew 25: Ministries. Matthew 25: Ministries, a top-ranked international humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization headquartered in Cincinnati, OH, has named Sealed Air as a “Green Giving Corporation” representing the pinnacle of responsible corporate environmental stewardship through the Green Giving program. Sealed Air and other corporations work throughout the year with Matthew 25: Ministries to rescue, recycle, reuse and repurpose millions of pounds of excess products, saving these products from the landfill, protecting our environment and helping millions of people throughout the US and worldwide each year.
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman and American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski have issued the following statements expressing concern about the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final Clean Power Plan and the proposed Federal Plan released Monday. Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA: “While the final Clean Power Plan and proposed Federal Plan reaffirm the carbon benefits of bioenergy and forest products manufacturing residuals, EPA missed an important opportunity to clarify how biomass energy can be practically used by states to meet emission reduction goals. These residuals would have released CO2 to the atmosphere if they had not been used for energy, so the industry is simply harnessing their energy value and utilizing the full carbon cycle of biomass. EPA’s lack of guidance and direction creates confusion and uncertainty for states and business investment, which hinders the competitiveness of America’s paper and wood products industry.”
J.D. Irving Limited’s (JDI) partnership with Natural Resources Canada's Canadian Forest Service has led to the commercial development of advanced tree breeding, field testing and seedling production techniques. Maritime Innovation, JDI's new lab in Sussex, New Brunswick was designed to use advanced seedling production technologies based on selection from our native tree population for a range of high value traits such as fast growth rate, high wood quality, resistance to insects and disease and broad adaptation to climate change. A propagation method called Somatic Embryogenesis is used to produce large numbers of seedling from a broad range of genetically diverse trees which have been field tested across the region. Another aspect of the lab’s research involves fungi which live inside the needles and leaves of trees across our region which are called endophytes. A range of these fungi have been selected because they produce compounds which improve their host tree’s tolerance to insect and disease attack. Methods have been developed to inoculate small seedlings in the nursery with these special fungi which stay with the tree throughout its life. Investing in this technology will sustain diverse forests, contribute to a sustainable wood supply for the forest industry and improve tree tolerance to various insect and fungal pests leading to a reduction in pesticide usage.
KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation (NYSE: KS) recently released its 2014 sustainability report, which continues to demonstrate the company's progress towards meeting its 2020 sustainability goals. The goals were developed based on the company's commitment to social responsibility and extend well beyond applicable laws and regulations mandated by federal, state and local government entities. The report conforms to a voluntary standard defined by the Global Reporting Initiative's G4 guidelines, reporting at a core level, and compares the company's performance to the 2010 year as the baseline. Also included in KapStone's report is a materiality assessment review, which engaged stakeholders to evaluate perception of corporate social responsibility and sustainability.
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 154 members of the U.S. House of Representatives supporting biomass as a sustainable energy source. “The paper and wood products manufacturing industry is the largest producer and user of bioenergy of any U.S. industrial sector. Our industry’s use of biomass residuals and commitments to forest planting and regrowth help to ensure that the nation’s forest stocks are stable and rising. The natural carbon cycle should be recognized in EPA policies. “This letter from House members joins support from Senators, scientists and agencies around the world in recognizing the carbon neutrality of biomass energy. AF&PA thanks Representatives Ribble, Bishop, Poliquin, Schrader, Harper and Graham for their leadership.”
First proposed a year ago, the plan had been expected to be finalized this summer – a timetable the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stuck to despite push-back from some states and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a separate clean-air rule. Called the “Clean Power Plan” by the EPA, the rule is a centerpiece of a major push by President Barack Obama to help the United States – and the planet – attack climate change by reducing the amount of carbon pollution pumped into the air. The rule was announced in draft form amid fanfare in June 2014, and Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy have talked up its benefits, saying it would be a boon to public health, helping to reduce asthma and other respiratory ailments.