A bill passed on February 17 by the Washington State Senate would reduce pollution by prohibiting the sale and distribution of most expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) products. The bill passed on a vote of 29-19 and now heads to the House for consideration. Effective June 1, 2022, this bill would prohibit the sale, manufacture and distribution of Styrofoam-type foodservice products, coolers and packaging materials in or into the state of Washington. Foodservice products include food containers, plates, clamshells and hot and cold beverage cups. It exempts packaging for raw, uncooked or butchered meat, fish and poultry, as well as packaging for seafood, vegetables, fruit and egg cartons. It also exempts Styrofoam products used to transport or store biological materials such as medicals items. Wholesale or retail establishments that use Styrofoam coolers to transport perishable items are also exempt from this prohibition.
Five leading companies in Canada’s food, beverage and packaging sector are joining forces and created the Circular Plastics Taskforce (Groupe d’action plastiques circulaires, or GAPC) to develop a circular economy for plastics, in partnership with the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) and with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada. Éco Entreprises Québec will also support the project as a consultant and financial partner. With the goal of closer alignment between market needs and recycling stakeholders (material recovery facilities (MRF) and packaging companies), Cascades, Danone Canada, Dyne-a-pak, Keurig Dr Pepper Canada, TC Transcontinental, and CPIA have teamed up with Centre de transfert technologique en écologie industrielle (CTTEI) at the Sorel-Tracy CÉGEP and Chamard Stratégies environnementales to identify and recommend solutions for optimizing the handling of plastics throughout the recycling value chain.
Fossil-free heating is to be installed at SCA’s Bogrundet nursery. The investment includes a large, environmentally-friendly heating system that will operate on pellets. SCA is also receiving a grant from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s Klimatklivet initiative to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases. The Bogrundet nursery in Timrå is the world’s largest tree nursery and SCA grows about 95 million seedlings here every year. The company has been looking for a climate-friendly and good technical solution for some time to heat the 14 greenhouses and avoid the use of oil.
Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE: SEE) has been awarded a position on the prestigious Supplier Engagement Leaderboard by the CDP for its actions and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate-related issues and risks in its supply chain. Sealed Air, a leading manufacturer of protective packaging, has a history of limiting resource use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The CDP provides third-party validation of these efforts and the scores serve as a benchmark for companies to compare environmental efforts against peers. For its 2019 disclosure, Sealed Air received an A- for its overall Climate Change score, marking the sixth year in a row the company has been recognized by CDP.
In British Columbia specifically, the wildfires of 2017 and 2018 rendered unusable a lot of high-value wood that would have been used to build homes and furniture. While the wood wasn’t destroyed, it was no longer considered suitable for high-quality purposes. Now, however, it’s perfect for use as biofuel. Under the mill’s partnership with FESBC, announced in January, those types of low-value wood – in addition to branches and treetops that were previously discarded into slash piles and burned at logging sites – will instead be chipped and transported to the mill for use generating renewable power. “We are very pleased to play a role in this project that allows us to access otherwise unused fiber from the forest, and use it to generate green electricity,” Kamloops Mill Manager Jean-Claude Allaire said.
“The forest sector has long supported and participated in efforts to enhance caribou recovery and protection – working alongside partners to advance meaningful solutions, including actively supporting the Government of BC’s Mountain Caribou Recovery Implementation Plan and participating in population augmentation trials. We will continue to work to enhance caribou habitat populations and believe the Section 11 Agreement delegation to the Province provides us with a greater range of tools to do this important work. However, we are deeply disappointed that the separate Partnership Agreement signed today permanently removes a significant amount of fibre from the timber harvesting land base and creates additional operational uncertainty. This permanent removal further shrinks the working forest and will have negative impacts on forestry workers, communities and regional economies.
In 2016, SCA launched a robust action plan with the goal that no known or registered archaeological or cultural remains would be damaged by forestry operations. The level of damage has since fallen every year. In 2019, 7.2% of relics were damaged in total, compared with 10.7% in the preceding year. “When we began to monitor the damage levels in 2015 these were at 40%, so this is a tremendous improvement,” says Anna Cabrajic, nature conservation expert at the Forest Management staff function. Much of the serious damage occurs in connection with site preparation, and also here SCA has noted a highly positive trend.
APRIL Group’s ongoing commitments to sustainable business, transparency and the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were recognised at the Sustainable Business Awards (SBAs) Indonesia where it received several awards and was declared Overall Winner. The company, a leading producer of fibre, pulp and paper with plantations and manufacturing operations in Riau Sumatra, Indonesia, received awards for Best in Strategy and Sustainability Management, Best Stakeholder Engagement and Materiality, Best in UN SDGs, as well as a special award for its contribution to UN SDG 4 - Quality Education.
Georgia-Pacific and KBX Logistics have used smart software to efficiently plan routes, minimizing the miles spent driving with an empty trailer, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the business. The insights generated by using data capacity and processing power has allowed Georgia-Pacific and KBX to cut 4 million unnecessary non-revenue miles for its 2,300 contracted drivers – saving those 615,000 gallons of diesel. Another initiative to eliminate engine idling at Georgia-Pacific facilities also saved an extra 418,000 gallons of fuel between 2018 and 2019. That has prevented an additional more than 4,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Taking place in Berlin late last year, the Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Retail Summit, a global network for the consumer goods industry, focused on those burning issues. We were present at the Summit to discuss the benefits that packaging from sustainable sources can have for a more sustainable industry. We teamed up with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and PEFC Germany for a special session, taking a deep dive into sustainable packaging and sustainable forest management. Panelists from the public sector and the industry, including Coca-Cola, Heineken and Metsä Group, discussed the role of forests in biodiversity conservation, land erosion prevention and energy production, and how they can help support the SDGs.
International Paper has named its first-ever chief sustainability officer as it prepares to advance its contributions to the circular economy. Sophie Beckham will lead the company's recently announced Vision 2030, which demonstrates its commitment to building a better future for people, the planet and the company. "Customers, investors and employees depend on us to be leaders in environmental stewardship and to strengthen our people and communities; appointing a chief sustainability officer is the next step in our continuing progress," said Mark Sutton, chairman and chief executive officer. "Sophie is uniquely qualified to lead the pursuit of our Vision 2030 goals and drive sustainability efforts that create value for all of our stakeholders."
Beginning in October 2019, the silhouette of the Green Bay Broadway (GBB) mill began to change. The first of two 400-foot stacks, a significant part of the Green Bay skyline for decades, started to be removed. The north stack was no longer being used for exhaust after GBB replaced a coal-fired boiler with a new natural gas boiler back in 2015. The mill is installing another natural gas boiler in late 2020 while the remaining south stack is scheduled for removal in 2021. The investment in natural gas boilers, a piece of the $80 million sustainability investments at GBB, helped the mill to decrease its emissions of nitrous oxide by 67 percent and sulfur dioxide by more than 80 percent. When the second natural gas boiler is activated later this year, the facility will be completely coal-free in its operations and will reduce emissions to near zero levels.
The American recycling industry is in crisis — and cities are on the front lines. The big picture: The economics undergirding the U.S. recycling system have fallen apart. Unable to absorb the extra cost, some cities are opting to kill recycling programs altogether — just as public concerns about climate change are ratcheting up. China, the biggest buyer of U.S. recycled materials, has closed its doors. Before the ban, the U.S. was exporting around 70% of its waste to China. Changing consumer behaviors have made the trash-sorting process more complex and expensive. "The market for recycling has had a lot of shock," says Marian Chertow, a professor at Yale's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "Cities are thinking, 'Hm, is this really worth it?'"
As an extension of our sustainable forestry principles, Domtar has joined the American Forest Foundation (AFF) as a partner in its Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP). This new initiative, designed to enhance carbon sequestration in family-owned forestland across the United States, includes other business partners and charitable foundations, as well as the Nature Conservancy. The FFCP represents a new approach to climate change mitigation that taps into the carbon storage potential of family-owned forestland while creating a new market and source of income for the families who dedicate time and effort to their forest management.
2019 was the busiest year to date for Two Sides’ anti-greenwash campaign. Globally, 388 organizations were found to be using unsubstantiated claims about print and paper’s impact on the environment. These organizations were identified by Two Sides throughout Europe, North and South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Two Sides are pleased to report that 131 of those organizations engaged in 2019 have removed or changed their messaging. This brings the total number of companies to over 500 since the campaign began in 2010. During 2019 in North America, Two Sides worked with several major organizations to achieve significant changes in messaging, including Cigna, ComEd, Comcast, JP Morgan Asset Management, JP Morgan Chase, Principal, Selective Insurance, Starbucks, to name a few.
Bertelsmann has set itself an ambitious environmental goal: By 2030, the international media, services, and education company intends to be climate neutral. By then, Bertelsmann aims to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated at its locations, by its employees’ mobility, and the manufacture of its own products by 50 percent compared with 2018. At that time, these emissions amounted to one million tons of CO2. The remaining emissions will be offset. Bertelsmann will also support its business customers in reducing product-related emissions. Thomas Rabe, Chairman & CEO of Bertelsmann, says: “Protecting the environment is part of our corporate values, the Bertelsmann Essentials. With our decision to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, we are taking responsibility in the battle against climate change and global warming. In this connection, Bertelsmann has become one of around 800 companies worldwide to join the Science Based Target Initiative. The initiative supports companies in setting scientifically sound climate targets.
Metsä Board, the leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards and part of Metsä Group, has had its emissions reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative as being consistent with the levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The targets, covering greenhouse gas emissions from Metsä Board’s operations (Scopes 1 and 2), are in line with reductions required to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Metsä Board has committed to reduce by 100% its absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030 from a 2016 base year. Scope 1 covers greenhouse gas emissions caused by the company’s own production and Scope 2 refers to purchased energy. Metsä Board’s target for reducing the emissions from its value chain (Scope 3) also meet the SBTi’s criteria for ambitious value chain goals and are thus in line with current best practices. Metsä Board commits that 70% of its non-fibre suppliers and downstream transportation suppliers by spend will set science based targets by 2024.
UPM has signed a long-term Wind Power Purchase agreement with German wind park development company wpd. The use of renewable wind power for UPM’s paper mills will help reduce CO2 emissions by 200,000 tonnes annually as of 2022, representing 5% of UPM’s total CO2 emissions. For UPM, this is an important step towards achieving the company’s ambitious 65% CO2 emission reduction target by 2030. UPM Communication Papers, the world-leading manufacturer of graphic papers, has committed to purchasing the majority share of the annual electricity production of a wind project build by wpd, totaling approximately 4 TWh over the duration of the contract. The wind project will be built in Finland and is planned to run for 25-30 years. The contract will support the long-term competitiveness of UPM Communication Papers by providing renewable electricity at competitive prices.
2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for FSC – in the United States, and around the world. The pace of climate change aggravated events is increasing, with the huge and unprecedented fires in Australia only the latest catastrophe to capture the public eye. While such disasters are always tragic, they also educate people about the critical role of forests and the importance of responsible forest management. The climate crisis is generating ever-greater interest in FSC as a climate solution, which has prompted our newly ramped-up efforts to measure and communicate the impacts of FSC - including the commission of studies to quantify carbon storage additionality in FSC-certified forests. As we think about FSC’s impact, perhaps nothing matters more than our standard, which translates directly to environmental and social improvements on the ground wherever it is applied.
“Sustainable forestry is a core value among AF&PA members. Our country boasts 20 percent more trees than it did on the first Earth Day celebration nearly 50 years ago, and the U.S. paper and wood products industry plays an important role in helping keep forests as forests. "Efforts to plant more trees are an important piece of a complex puzzle. This is why the paper industry has the most comprehensive set of quantifiable sustainability goals of any U.S. manufacturing industry in our Better Practices, Better Planet 2020 initiative. With goals centered around increasing the amount of certified fiber we procure, increasing paper recovery, improving energy efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing water use - among others - we are proud of the holistic approach our industry has adopted to ensure our resources will be available for future generations just as they are today.
DS Smith and Keep Scotland Beautiful have teamed up on the Cup Movement® - an initiative designed to offer coffee cup recycling in the Greater Glasgow area. In 2019, Scotland made its way through 500 million single-use coffee cups, with Greater Glasgow contributing almost 100 million cups alone. With coffee cup recycling rates at only 4%, over 90 million cups ended up in landfill or incineration to produce energy-from-waste (EfW).
The food industry is among the several fields that are introducing wood and fiber based raw materials at an accelerating pace. Huhtamaki is increasing the use of renewable and versatile materials, such as paper and cardboard, and nearly 70% of Huhtamaki’s product portfolio is already made of fiber-based products. Huhtamaki’s goal is that 100% of the wood fiber in its products comes from recycled or certified sustainable sources and in 2018, we reached 98% level. The company is investing in innovation that introduces renewable, safe materials and solutions for food packaging. “Fiber packaging is a key innovation area for us, and in some applications, it can fully replace plastic,” says Richard Ali, Sustainability Director from Huhtamaki Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania.
CDP, an international non-profit organisation, has again acknowledged Metsä Board, part of the Metsä Group. Metsä Board scored A- both in the CDP’s Water and Forest programmes. In addition, Metsä Board scored A- in CDP’s Supplier Engagement Rating, which assesses the companys’ actions in managing fossil carbon dioxide emissions and in engaging supply chain to mitigate climate change. Earlier this year Metsä Board was nominated on the CDP Climate A List for the fourth consecutive year. In 2019 Metsä Board announced its new, ambitious sustainability targets for 2030, including a target of having fossil free mills by 2030 with zero fossil CO2 emissions. The new targets also include a 30 percent decrease in process water use per product tonne compared to the 2018 level. Metsä Board also aims to increase the share of certified fibre in its products to a minimum of 90 percent by 2030.
Auditors from around India are invited to join our Chain of Custody auditor training session in New Delhi. The training takes place 26-27 February with a field trip on 28 February. Sign up now! The training costs USD 500/person (INR 36,000) for all three days. The price includes the field trip and online test, lunch, course material and a certificate of attendance. The training will be in English. Trainees will be required to complete an online knowledge test after completion of the in-person training. Qualified trainees will receive a certificate as qualified PEFC Chain of Custody Auditors from PEFC International.
Tetra Pak has been commended for its climate action and driving sustainable sourcing in its supply chain for the fourth time, achieving a place on the global environmental impact non-profit CDP's prestigious ‘A List’ based on the company’s reporting in 2019. Reporting to CDP highlights Tetra Pak’s commitment to transparency and measurement of its sustainability positioning. One of 179 companies recognised for actions to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy, and one of 8 companies working to prevent deforestation in supply chains via sustainable sourcing of key commodities that are linked to deforestation.
To address misleading environmental claims claims, Two Sides North America and FPAC have worked together with several Canadian organizations to change their marketing messages related to print and paper. This partnership addresses misleading claims such as “go green – go paperless” and “save trees” which are regularly used by financial institutions, utility providers and governmental organizations to encourage customers to switch from paper to less costly electronic bills and statements. One of the successes includes convincing the Canadian Revenue Agency to change it’s messaging on tax assessments. To date, Two Sides has successfully worked with 125 leading North American organizations (over 440 worldwide) to remove or change inaccurate environmental claims.
CDP Forests provides a framework of action for companies to measure and manage forest-related risks and opportunities, transparently report on progress, and commit to proactive action for the restoration of forests and ecosystems. For water stewardship relevant companies are asked to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Mondi was again among the respondents this year, and improved its score to an A- rating for CDP’s forest score for timber, which is in the Leadership band. This is higher than the European regional average of B-, and higher than the paper products & packaging sector average of B. Mondi’s water security score also improved to an A rating this year, significantly improving its rating from the previous year.
The global non-profit, CDP, has recognised UPM as one of the only six Triple A List companies globally for its significant actions to mitigate climate risk, prevent deforestation and enhance water stewardship. UPM was featured on the A List for Climate, Forests and Water out of thousands who were evaluated in 2019. “We are truly honoured to receive this recognition. A leadership position on the A List in all three dimensions of CDP shows that our ambitious 2030 responsibility targets and working towards them is seen globally significant,” says Sami Lundgren, Vice President, Responsibility, UPM.
Berry Global Group, Inc. announced its formal agreement with Georgia-Pacific Recycling to collaborate in creating a closed loop system to recover, segregate, and reprocess post-consumer resin (PCR). The two companies share a long working history, and will now harness their expertise in their respective disciplines to increase domestic recovery of plastics in support of the transition toward a more circular economy. Georgia-Pacific Recycling will use its national network of recycled material suppliers and logistics providers to procure and transport the post-consumer plastic material to be recycled. Berry will reprocess the plastic material to incorporate into its broad portfolio of polyethylene film and polypropylene products.