American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski and American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statements for the organizations’ joint testimony submitted for today’s Senate Environment and Public Works hearing on impact and achievability of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) ozone standard.
The Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut Forestier du Canada is another group speaking out against recent claims about forest loss and deforestation, sparked by a report that claims Canada was second in the world in terms of tree cover loss in 2013. Check out the interesting infographic prepared by the CIF/IFC in response to the report. A report released by the World Resource Institute claims that Canada was second in the world in terms of tree cover loss in 2013. The CIF/IFC found issue with the way tree cover loss was defined in the document, as well as the general message of the report, which leaves readers with the impression that sustainable harvesting practices, insect damage, and forest fires are causing permanent damage to our forests.
In an unprecedented move, elected municipal officials and forest industry representatives from Quebec and Ontario met in Ottawa today to ask the various levels of government to step up their efforts to promote the sustainable forestry practices of Quebec, Ontario, and Canada on the international scene. At a press conference, Jean-Pierre Boivin, representative of Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM), prefect of the Maria-Chapedelaine RCM, and president of Alliance forêt boréale; David Canfield, mayor of Kenora and president of the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities; Jamie Lim, CEO of the Ontario Forest Industry Association (OFIA); and André Tremblay, CEO of the Quebec Forest Industry Council (QFIC) reiterated the important role of government in educating the world about the sustainable practices followed by Canada's innovative, wealth-creating forest industry.
"This is a major step forward in our environmental efforts to reduce CO?emissions and make us less dependent on fossil fuels," says Johan Jonsson, Head of Södra Skogsplantor. The process to changeover Södra's nursery in Flåboda to fossil-free operation commenced three years ago. The goal has now been achieved, with boilers fuelled with vegetable oils, greenhouses heated by four pellet boilers, green electricity generated by Södra's pulp mills and vehicles that run on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).
Hungarian Forest Certification Non-profit Ltd. is pleased to announce the start of the national public consultation for the Hungarian sustainable forest management standard. Stakeholders from around the country are invited to provide their feedback on the standard by 20 August 2015. “This public consultation is an extremely important opportunity for all national stakeholders to provide their final input into our upcoming standard,” said Endre Schiberna, Head of the Standard Setting Committee.
Best Buy’s five-year-long drive to reduce its carbon footprint by at least 20 percent by 2020 was recognized as an unparalleled retailer achievement at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) White House ceremonies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night. The reduction is part of the company’s effort to address climate change. Thanks to a combination of an industry-leading energy management system, store lighting retrofit and improved fleet and distribution practices, Best Buy was commended for exceeding its goal and reducing emissions by 26 percent since 2010. The award was given at this week’s DOE Better Buildings Challenge Summit.
A leading coalition of forest owners, wood suppliers and manufacturers of pulp and paper goods announced today the creation of Biomass101.org, a clearinghouse for scientifically sound information on carbon-neutral bioenergy. Biomass101 is an effort jointly produced by the American Forest & Paper Association, American Wood Council, Forest Resources Association, and National Alliance of Forest Owners. “With biomass becoming a more prominent part of the national renewable energy discussion, Americans deserve a conversation that is honest, accurate, and reliable,” said Chuck Fuqua, Executive Director for Strategic Communications at the American Forest & Paper Association.
100 tree planters, 60 minutes, over 53,000 seedlings planted. It takes a great team to break a world record and that is what the J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) crew did near Sussex on May 20th, 2015. The previous Guinness World Record of trees planted in one hour was set in 2012 in India where 40,000 trees were planted.
People of all ages and backgrounds from across the U.S. and Canada came together Wednesday 20 May to break the Guinness World Record for the most trees planted in one hour by small teams. Organized by PEFC’s North American member, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI), more than 200,000 trees were planted simultaneously in 28 different communities. The record attempt involved more than 1,100 participants, across four time zones, including industry representatives, community organizations, youth groups, conservation groups, and SFI Implementation Committees. Each team of 25 to 100 people planted trees simultaneously from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT, in locations ranging from New York City to Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
Following many years of decline, Södra is now seeing a clear trend break in the proportion of Scots pine seedlings sold. "This spring, some 1.7 million pine seedlings are being dispatched from our Flåboda Nursery, while the figure for spring 2016 is 2.5 million seedlings. In total, Södra will deliver 3.5 million pine seedlings this year, which is up about two million on the low point," says Ida Karlsson, Manager at Flåboda Nursery.
The WWF Certification Assessment Tool (CAT) is a formalized methodology to evaluate and compare standards and certification systems based on WWF’s views and opinions and assesses in how far forest certification systems are aligned with the mission and objectives of WWF. The WWF CAT shows that PEFC meets 70% of the “Standard Strengths” indicators, which cover sustainable forest management related issues such as biodiversity, water and soil, worker’s rights, and community relations. “We appreciate that the results clearly demonstrate the value of the work of PEFC, thereby recognizing the efforts of hundreds of thousands of certified forest owners who promote sustainable forest management worldwide,” said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC International Secretary General.
AptarGroup, Inc. (NYSE: ATR), a global dispensing solutions provider, today released its 2014 Corporate Sustainability Report. The report highlights activities that took place across the company’s global portfolio throughout 2014 and is the first prepared by AptarGroup using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 framework. This report includes information about global energy consumption for which AptarGroup has obtained external assurance regarding the reliability of the data. AptarGroup strives for solutions respecting the environment and conserving natural resources. Featured in the report are examples of the work AptarGroup has done to reduce waste to landfill; test and evaluate new, more efficient equipment; and institute new processes and procedures to reduce energy and water use.
Together with FSC Finland, UPM is hosting today a visit by Kim Carstensen, Director General of the international forest certification organisation FSC. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) promotes environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. The FSC certificate indicates to consumers that the wood used in the product has been sourced responsibly. UPM actively co-operates with FSC both internationally and in Finland to increase the use of FSC-certified wood in its production processes. It also aims to promote awareness of the FSC forest certification and related responsibility issues both in Finland and around the world. UPM has certified its own forests in Finland and its tree plantations in Uruguay.
Assessors play an important role in PEFC. With PEFC being the only global forest certification system that requires all standards to be independently developed with multi-stakeholder participation, any national forest certification systems that seeks PEFC endorsement is subject to the rigorous PEFC assessment process to ensure their system meets PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks. This process, which also includes a sixty day global public consultation as well as a review by the PEFC Panel of Experts, is led by independent, PEFC Registered Assessors. The assessors took a detailed look at the PEFC Sustainability Benchmark requirements, identifying expectations and clarifications for specific requirements in order to reach a better common understanding and a more harmonized and consistent application of the PEFC requirements.
Each year, the electronic industry - one of the world's largest and fastest growing - generates up to 41 million tonnes of e-waste from goods such as computers and smart phones. Forecasts say that figure may reach 50 million tonnes already by 2017. A staggering 60-90 per cent of this waste is illegally traded or dumped, according to UNEP's "Waste Crimes, Waste Risks: Gaps and Challenges In the Waste Sector", launched today in Geneva, at the Conference of Parties to the three major conventions addressing the global waste issue, the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
Northern Pulp in Abercrombie Point, N.S., will begin a 15-day maintenance shutdown on May 30 to install a new electrostatic precipitator. But the mill’s general manager has said it will not restart until the precipitator is operational, which could be in late June or early July. The new equipment is necessary to meet the air pollution reductions required by the mill’s new operating permits. "It’s a big job. There's a lot to do," Bruce Chapman, general manager of the mill, told CBC News. “We will go down on May 30 and we are committed not to restart, we will finish the work. We will restart when the precipitator is ready. That is our commitment to the people of Pictou County."
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today announced that 65.4 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2014. U.S. paper recovery rate statistics are available at www.paperrecycles.org/statistics. “U.S. paper recovery’s ongoing success is possible thanks to the voluntary, market-driven product recovery system,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.
In 2014, P&G’s Lima facility set out to be the first fabric care plant in North America to earn the designation of Zero Waste to Landfill. As of Jan. 1, 2015, the facility has achieved this challenging goal – it recycles 97.25% of its waste, and converts the remaining 2.75% of waste to energy by partnering with Covanta, a leading waste-to-energy service. Waste is transported to Covanta’s nearest facility via specially made boxes built to accommodate the plant’s compactor equipment and to minimize the carbon footprint and economic impact of transportation.
Stora Enso and Kemira, a global chemicals company, have started the construction work for pilot projects addressing water-related issues in three villages in Guangxi Province in Southern China. The projects are part of Stora Enso and Kemira’s three-year corporate responsibility initiative on water stewardship and shared value creation. Launched in 2013, this initiative strives to enhance the responsible use of local water resources in collaboration with villagers, non-governmental organisations, and the Chinese authorities. The aim is to improve water supply and sewage treatment, and to provide solutions for water shortages and quality problems. After the construction phase, tailor-made training will be provided to all villages.
American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman has issued the following statement on the letter Sens. Markey and Warren sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today calling for a ban on biomass as a compliance option for the president’s Climate Action Plan.
The global sustainability performance of the forest product industry is improving, with all aggregate indicators for reporting associations showing progress: •Greenhouse gas emissions intensity was reduced by 17% between 2005 and 2013. •The share of bio-energy in the industry’s fuel mix increased by 8 percentage points, to 61%, since 2005. •The number of hectares certified to a third-party sustainable forest management certification system increased by 41 percentage points, to 52% of wood supply, since 2000. •The global paper recycling rate increased by 11 percentage points, to 58%, between 2001 and 2013.
As of May, UPM’s new wood-based BioVerno diesel fuel will be available at ABC service stations. The product, sold as a part of ABC’s Smart Diesel range, is a result of UPM’s own innovation and is produced at the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery. This high quality fuel suits all diesel engines. ABC’s Smart Diesel already boasts excellent properties, and now it has become even more environmentally sound with a locally produced diesel by its side. Renewable UPM BioVerno diesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% when compared to traditional diesel. UPM BioVerno is produced at the UPM Lappeenranta Biorefinery from crude tall oil, a residue of the pulp production process. This biorefinery is the first of its kind in the world. A significant proportion of the raw material for the diesel comes from UPM’s Finnish pulp mills.
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased that the Canadian forest sector continues to score well in comparison to other countries in the most recent international sustainability report. The 2015 report by the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) shows that global sustainability is improving and that Canada is doing especially well. The report notes that Canada has 161 million hectares of certified forest, by far the most in the world with more than 40% of the global total.
The clean air we breathe and water we drink are only part of the story of sustainable forestry. And if you have hiked in a forest or enjoyed the shade of a tree on a city sidewalk you have experienced the benefits of trees and forests first hand. 1. Providing places for outdoor adventures 2. A growing base of scientific study 3. Bringing communities together 4. Improving water quality
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a $1.5 million Diesel Emission Reduction Act grant to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) that ultimately will remove tons of air pollution from diesel-fueled activities at and near the Port of Portland. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy visited Portland to announce the grant at an event at Northwest Container Services with Oregon DEQ Administrator Dick Pedersen. Amongst other projects, the EPA-funded grant will assist local companies in replacing 23 heavy-duty short-haul diesel trucks, traveling more than 1.3 million miles in the Portland metro area each year. West Linn Paper Company will play a significant role in the project as the future owner of at least twelve of the new trucks. The company will take older, less efficient equipment out of use and replace it with new vehicles with improved energy efficiency and more effective filters to remove emissions. The positive impact to the environment will be significant – West Linn Paper anticipates that the project will result in a 20% improvement in fuel economy, and filters capable of removing as much as 90% of the tailpipe emissions.
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and PwC Canada have released an updated Buyers’ Guide to Canada’s Sustainable Forest Products so that customers can be well-informed and confident that their purchasing decisions are environmentally and socially responsible. The guide provides practical advice to help ensure buying decisions go beyond the traditional concerns of price, quality, and availability to also consider environmental and social impacts such as climate change, legality and certification. It will help inform the growing number of companies who wish to adopt green procurement policies as part of their efforts to achieve their own sustainability goals.
Pratt Industries announced today it would lead a unique coalition of government, private enterprise, trade associations and non-profits to increase recycling rates and environmental awareness among students and teachers in dozens of New York City schools. Pratt chairman Anthony Pratt was joined by local leaders including Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo in releasing details of the program, which for the first time will introduce a detailed anti-littering, pro-recycling curriculum across schools on Staten Island, eventually reaching more than 20,000 students.
This year they will cover the area of 34,000 ha and include artificial, natural, and combined reforestation activities and tending of young stands. As a responsible forest manager, Ilim Group performs reforestation activities on an annual basis. In 2014, Ilim experts performed reforestation work on leased timberland in the Irkutsk, Arkhangelsk, Vologda Oblasts, Komi Republic and Krasnoyarsk Territory covering the area of 28.9 thousand ha. Over 3.8 million of pine and spruce seedlings and 2 thousand kilograms of pine and spruce seeds were planted as part of the effort to create forest plantations. Tending of young stands was carried out over an area exceeding 4.500 ha.
Australia and Portugal have become the latest countries to successfully achieve the re-endorsement of their national forest certification systems by PEFC. This not only confirms that they continue to meet PEFC’s globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks, but also ensures that certified forest owners and companies in these countries continue to benefit from the global acceptance of PEFC. This marks the second re-endorsement for Australia and Portugal, with both countries achieving endorsement for the first time back in 2004. The endorsement of the Australian system was particularly significant as, alongside Chile, it became the first non-European country to be recognized by PEFC. Since then, over 10 million hectares of forest have been certified in the country.
You throw a piece of paper in the recycling bin and probably forget about it, but where does it go? If you live in Harrison and parts of Marion County it goes to the Resolute Forest Products Fairmont Pulp Mill. Recycling is building momentum in the state thanks to the Fairmont Pulp Mill, one of three of its kind in the world. But, only two percent of what the mill recycles actually comes from West Virginia.
Australian scientists have analysed 20 years of satellite data and found that the world's trees and plants now store four billion more tonnes of carbon than they did in 2003. The report found despite vast amounts of deforestation, making way for agricultural land, the earth is still getting greener. There are a combination of factors contributing to this growth, such as China's huge planting programme; increased rainfall in Australia, Africa and South America; forest growth in large areas of abandoned former soviet farming lands and increased carbon in the atmosphere improving growing conditions for plants.
On April 22 the world celebrated Earth Day. But many consumers try to pay homage to Mother Nature all year long through their purchases. According to Influence Central's survey of nearly 1,000 women, 47% identify as “very green.” In fact, 99% of this segment would consider themselves “green moms” and 87% always try to use Earth-friendly practices, like relying on DIYs and green cleaning products. In addition, 40% of the women surveyed would consider themselves somewhat green and 68% of all consumers surveyed consider themselves “green moms.” These consumers are extremely knowledgeable about the products that they purchase. According to Influence Central, 73% of respondents often do research to understand the safety of ingredients exposed to their families and 70% agree that they possess knowledge and expertise about environmentally friendly products. This shouldn't come as a surprise given that 91% of the study's participants buy green products because they're concerned about their family's health. So, brands definitely have an opportunity to meet consumers' growing needs.
The significant and potentially dramatic impact of climate change on forests, while well understood by foresters and scientists, is frequently overlooked in mainstream discussions, said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, on Earth Day today. “Yet given the effect it will have on communities and ecosystems, we need to bring discussions about how to move towards ‘climate change adapted communities’ and ‘climate change resilient landscapes’ into the mainstream,” urged Mr. Gunneberg. “When it comes to forests and climate change, the focus tends to be on the benefits that forests and forest products provide by absorbing and storing carbon and, conversely, on carbon emissions from such deforestation,” said Mr Gunneberg, speaking from the ICF National Conference 2015 “Tree Health, Resilience & Sustainability” in Cardiff, Wales, today.
“Verso Corporation is a major U.S. producer of printing and graphic paper and it’s great to have them as a key member of Two Sides,” stated Two Sides North America President Phil Riebel. “We welcome Aaron Haas, Vice President, Marketing Services and eCommerce, as a member of our Sustainability & Marketing Committee and we look forward to working with Verso to continue growing our network and promoting the sustainability of paper-based communications.”
Tiny Prints, the leading online stationery boutique, today announced its partnership with American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization. In an effort to revive the decimated Deschutes National Forest in Oregon, Tiny Prints, along with American Forests, will help restore its ecosystem and make it a destination for families to enjoy once again. In 2012, the Deschutes National Forest was devastated by a lightning fire, destroying over 26,000 acres of trees and ruining the wildlife habitat of its big horn sheep, deer and songbirds. Through American Forests, Tiny Prints will support the Pole Creek Fire reforestation project that will plant 350,000 Ponderosa Pines and Douglas Fir, so that families can, once again, hike, camp, fish, ski and enjoy the majestic landscape.
“We welcome ANIDIGRAF to our network and we look forward to working with them to raise awareness about the sustainable features of print and paper, and grow our presence in North America,” stated Two Sides North America President Phil Riebel. “We are very pleased to become the first Mexican industry association to join Two Sides, a highly professional organization eager to share its knowledge and experience worldwide, seeking the mutual benefit of our markets and communities. This alliance will help us reinforce our commitment to promote and strengthen sustainability in Mexico,” stated Jorge Rebollar, President, ANIDIGRAF.
On the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day, Mohawk, North America’s largest privately-owned manufacturer of fine papers, envelopes and specialty substrates for commercial and digital printing, continues to lead the paper industry in environmental and sustainable practices, and has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ‘National Top 100 List’ of Green Power Users for the tenth year in a row. As of January 6, 2015, Mohawk ranks 75th in the nation for green power use, and has been named to the EPA 100% Green Power Users list for using wind power to meet 100 percent of the company’s electricity use. Since 2007, 100% of electricity used in Mohawk’s operations is matched with Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs).
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) is pleased to announce that four leaders have been elected to the independent Board of Directors. Joining the board are Mary Klein, President and CEO, NatureServe; Guy Gleysteen, Senior VP, Time Inc.; Bettina Ring, State Forester, Virginia; and Steve Bullard, Dean, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Stephen F. Austin State University. “We are so pleased to welcome Mary, Guy, Bettina, and Steve. As a conservationist, a brand manager, a state forester and an academic, their respective experience in the environmental, public and private sectors will be an important asset to our diverse SFI Board,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “They will help SFI further enhance the vital link between healthy forests, responsible purchasing, and sustainable communities.”
The wise use of the world’s forests is critical to our survival and a healthy environment. Forests are vital in maintaining life as we know it, as they: *cover one third of the earth’s land and absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide making them a major instrument in mitigating climate change, *absorb airborne impurities and give off oxygen allowing us to breathe clean air, *protect our watersheds and provide us with clean water, *are home to the majority of the world’s terrestrial species, and many people around the world—1.6 billion according to the World Wildlife Fund—depend on forests for their livelihoods.
Brazil has become the first jurisdiction worldwide to permit the commercial use of FuturaGene’s genetically engineered eucalyptus. The Brazilian National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) approved the commercial use of the yield-enhanced eucalyptus developed by FuturaGene. According to the company, field experiments conducted since 2006 at various locations in Brazil have demonstrated an approximate 20% increase in yield compared to its equivalent conventional variety. The company says this approval represents the most significant productivity milestone for the renewable plantation forest industry since the adoption of clonal technology in the early 1990s. This approval enables the production of more fiber using less resources.
Current and future opportunities for PEFC in South America to expand forest certification and the uptake of PEFC-certified products is set to be the focus of an upcoming PEFC regional conference in Uruguay. Stakeholders from around the continent with an interest in promoting sustainable forest management are encouraged to attend. “Our goal is to bring more forests under sustainable forest management, and with this first regional gathering we aim to enable internal and external stakeholders to join forces to better reach out to everybody along the timber value chain: from forest owners to companies to consumers,” said Atilio Ligrone, National Secretary of PEFC Uruguay and the Manager of the Society of Forest Producers. “For our country, and in particular PEFC Uruguay, it is an honor to host this first regional meeting.”
Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) announced today that it has collected 450 million ink and toner cartridges for recycling in the U.S. since 2005, averaging more than 60 million cartridges per year for the past four years. Through the cartridge recycling program, Staples has helped recover and recycle 234 million pounds of plastics and metals, diverting roughly the weight of 8,000 full garbage trucks from landfills. "At Staples, we are committed to reducing waste going to landfills and reusing valuable resources through our recycling services," said Mark Buckley, vice president, environmental affairs, Staples.
Official 2014 emissions data have just been released and the downward trend in emissions from the sector has continued — 2014 emissions being 13.5% lower than those in 2013 and an impressive 42% lower than in 2008. While some of this reduction can be attributed to lower production, the great majority has been delivered by investment in new power generation and a continued focus on energy efficiency. Allowing for changes in production levels, the figures show that the amount of EU ETS reported carbon dioxide emitted by UK paper mills (per tonne of production) has fallen by a third in just seven years — from 0.64 tonnes CO2 per tonne of product to 0.42 tonnes.
Interesting article from Image Reports about whether or not digital media is getting away with too much when it comes to the sustainability argument. While the environmental impact of print has been heavily scrutinized, the information technology industry has been given a much freer ride on this issue.
A recent World Resource Institute (WRI) report indicates that forest fires have increased in Canada’s boreal forest which puts Canada second on a global list for tree cover loss in 2013. It is important to define what WRI means by tree cover loss. The distinction between natural cycles and man-made land use changes are necessary considerations when calculating tree loss. Permanent forest loss from urbanization and agriculture expansion is vastly different from temporary tree loss caused by harvesting or natural occurrences like forest fires and pest infestations where trees regrow. Forecasts using climate change scenarios suggest that fire and pest activity will increase across much of Canada’s forests. The forest products industry continues to collaborate with governments, academics and other stakeholders on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
The American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA) 2014 Community Access Survey shows that overall consumer access to community paper and paperboard recycling in the U.S. reached 96 percent, up from 87 percent in 2010. The survey evaluated 12 separate grades of paper and paperboard, which all showed access increases. Access for 9 of the 12 grades is now at or above 90 percent. The executive summary of the survey is available at: http://paperrecycles.org/sustainability/2014-af-pa-community-access-survey “Access to paper recycling in the U.S. continues to increase – which helps to recover valuable resources, extend the useful life of fiber and make new products,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “In addition, we’re pleased to see significant increases in access to recycling for different paper grades.” The survey results also showed that single-stream recovery has grown in use. Eighty percent of Americans now have access to single-stream collection, a rise from 65 percent in 2010.
Following its successful introduction with Finnish dairy Valio, the world’s first fully renewable package, Tetra Rex® Bio-based, is now being rolled out to Tetra Pak customers worldwide. Valio has been selling its Valio Eila® brand of lactose free semi-skimmed milk drink in Tetra Rex Bio-based for the past three months and now plans to use the fully renewable package for some other products in their range. At the same time, the company has also decided to use Tetra Pak’s 100% bio based closures for all their gable-top packages. “After all of the hard work and significant investment that has gone into bringing this package to market, it is hugely rewarding to get such a positive response from both Valio and their consumers,” says Charles Brand, Executive Vice President of Product Management & Commercial Operations for Tetra Pak.
UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced plans to build 15 compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations to support the purchase and planned deployment of 1,400 new CNG vehicles over the next year. Twelve of the CNG stations will be in new natural gas vehicle deployment areas, and three will replace existing CNG stations with more robust, higher capacity equipment. This purchase represents a nearly 30% increase to UPS's current industry-leading alternative fuel and advanced technology fleet of 5,088 vehicles worldwide. The CNG fueling stations and vehicle purchases are part of UPS' ongoing commitment to diversify its fuel sources, implement a fleet infrastructure that can utilize lower carbon intensity fuel sources and increase experience using alternative fuels in freight transport applications.
Sonoco (NYSE:SON), one of the largest diversified packaging companies, has recognized U.S. Paper Mills Corp.'s facility in Menasha, Wis., with a Bronze Sustainability Star Award for the plant's successful efforts to achieve a 26 percent waste reduction. The plant achieved this significant waste reduction by recovering fiber from the waste streams in the pulping process and reducing moisture content in its waste stream by optimizing equipment. The fiber recovery component alone reduced waste by 50-60 tons per month.
Bluestone Energy Services and Ahold USA are increasing their energy conservation initiative in 2015 by expanding the reach of projects to touch stores in all regions and to increase the energy savings in new projects while also continuing to improve the efficiency of existing projects. In 2014, Bluestone Energy’s supermarket division completed comprehensive energy efficiency projects in partnership with Ahold USA and its retail stores, including upgrading all of the interior lighting at the store level to new LED lighting with advanced wireless controls. This high-efficiency lighting installation reduced the lighting consumption in the stores by over 70%. In addition to reducing the energy profile of the stores, the lighting systems enhance the customer experience through improved light levels as well as light quality.
Electric vehicles (EVs) will meet the daily travel needs of drivers longer than commonly assumed, according to the first study of its kind carried out by scientists at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Many drivers and much prior literature on the retirement of EV batteries have assumed that EV batteries will be retired after the battery has lost 20 percent of its energy storage or power delivery capability. This study shows that the daily travel needs of drivers continue to be met well beyond these levels of battery degradation. Samveg Saxena, who leads a vehicle powertrain research program at Berkeley Lab, analyzed real-world driving patterns and found that batteries that have lost 20 percent of their originally rated energy storage capacity can still meet the daily travel needs of more than 85 percent of U.S. drivers.
Target Corp. is expanding its deployment of solar energy. The retailer has signed a power-purchase agreement with Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC that calls for supplier to install solar arrays on the roofs of 180 Target stores and distribution centers across the United States from Augusta, Maine, to San Diego. When completed, the solar installations will produce an aggregate total of approximately 100 megawatts of electric energy. Though the size of the solar array will vary at each of the retail locations, the average system will consist of 1,700 solar panels. All 180 projects are expected to be completed by the winter of 2016. Under its power-purchase agreement with Target, Greenskies will design, develop, finance, own and maintain each of the 180 solar installations. Target has agreed to purchase 100% of the electricity produced at each of the sites at a fixed and sharply discounted rate for the length of the contract. Each roof-top array will produce between 20% and 30% of the total electricity requirements of the retail outlet on which it is built, Chester said.
Lecta announced that it has successfully completed a new phase in its ambitious investment plan at its Zaragoza pulp and paper mill in northern Spain. This phase, totalling some 23 million euros, is focused on reducing the mills environmental impact. Lecta's goal is that the Zaragoza site become a benchmark for sustainability in the paper industry. Following the installation of two new electrostatic precipitators in the mill's recovery boilers, resulting in a 74% reduction in solid particle emissions, Lecta has started up a biological water purification plant with excellent results. In the first few months, there has already been a drastic reduction in effluent load, with values far below the legal limits. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) values were cut nearly in half, Total Suspended Solids (TSS) have decreased by 36% and in the case of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD5), the decrease was even more pronounced — 72% compared to the average observed in 2013.
From the auditors who verify companies’ chain of custody to our National members, we provide a range of tailored training opportunities to a diverse number of stakeholders involved in the sustainable management of the world’s forests. Upcoming Chain of Custody training programs With over 16,000 companies covered by PEFC Chain of Custody certification worldwide, the PEFC Chain of Custody standard is widely applied by certified companies, certification bodies and auditors on a daily basis. To ensure that everyone involved in the process is fully up-to-date on changes to the standard and on interpretation and explanation of specific requirements, we provide an extensive range of Chain of Custody Training options. This enables the consistent application of the Chain of Custody requirements in daily practice, and allows PEFC to exchange experiences and receive valuable feedback on the implementation of the standard.
Ikea announced plans to install a fuel cell system at its location in Emeryville, California. Consistent with the retailer’s focus on emerging energy technologies, is the first Ikea in the world to convert biogas into electricity through a clean electro-chemical process. The fuel cell system will be installed, commissioned and activated by this summer, 2015. Ikea contracted Bloom Energy, Sunnyvale, California, for the design, development and installation of the fuel system.
New York State will be the first in the nation to totally change its electric power market to become greener, more efficient and resilient. Gregg C. Sayre, a member of the New York State Public Service Commission, shared this and more at The Energy Times Executive Briefing in Washington on March 19, a new event launched by Penton’s Energy & Buildings division. The event brought utility executives and industry thought leaders together to outline the electric utility revolution. The objective, Sayre said, is “a complete restructuring of the utility distribution market, top to bottom. Nobody has done it before.” “One goal will be to spark widespread deployment and adoption of distributed generation. The state has already identified 100,000 people in the state who are off the grid – a finding that startled regulators,” Sayre added.
Environmentalism is fast becoming a top concern in France – a rooftop concern, to be precise. Excitingly, the nation has just passed new legislation that will require all upcoming commercial construction projects to feature either green roofs or solar panels above their top floors. By now, most people are at least passingly familiar with the benefits of solar panels, but green roofs remain unknown to the general public. A green roof is one that is covered in lush plant life, and the perks extend well beyond the aesthetic. Because green roofs help to insulate, buildings are able to slash seasonal energy costs for both heating and air conditioning by approximately 25 percent.
“WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us all of the importance of actions to reduce energy consumption and to increase the share of renewable energy,” says Päivi Salpakivi-Salomaa, Vice President, Environment and Responsibility, UPM. “UPM is constantly decreasing its carbon footprint and improving its energy efficiency. Globally, 67% of the fuels we use are biomass based, and in Finland the figure is as high as 83%. We are the second biggest generator of biomass based electricity in Europe and 79% of the electricity we produce is free from fossil CO2 emissions.
Resolute Forest Products Inc. (NYSE: RFP) (TSX: RFP) today announced its strong endorsement of the Alliance forêt boréale call for a working group to address recent issues regarding some Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certificates in the Province of Quebec. Earlier today, Alliance forêt boréale held a press conference in Saguenay, Quebec, and issued a press release calling on the Government of Quebec to form a working group comprised of regional and provincial government officials and FSC representatives to better understand all aspects of FSC certification and the path to restoring recently suspended regional FSC certificates, as well as to address ongoing misinformation spread by certain activist groups.
Every two years, FSC International conducts a survey of certified companies worldwide, to better understand perspectives about FSC and the market for FSC-certified products. Recently, FSC released the Global Market Survey for 2014, which includes a range of interesting findings. The survey was conducted during June-July 2014, with results based on responses from 3,656 certificate holders from 95 countries. This represents a 13 percent response rate (based on 27,289 certified companies in the FSC system at that time). 445 responses came from companies in the U.S.
Starbucks Corp. tackled a wide range of global responsibility projects in 2014, including the ongoing minimization of its environment footprint. In its annual 2014 Global Responsibility Report, the coffee giant noted that it opened its 500th LEED-certified store in 2014, and that 98% of company-operated new stores opened in the United States in 2014 were built to LEED standards. Globally, the percentage stands at 64%. Starbucks said is has experienced some technical challenges in international markets where the U.S.-based LEED certification program is still gaining traction. It is working with the U.S. Green Building Council to increase adoption of the LEED standards.
‘The Canadian forest products industry is part of the solution to the problem of climate change,” says David Lindsay, President and CEO of FPAC. “Our vast renewable forest resource and the actions of our forest companies are truly making a difference to this crucial issue.” Trees absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) that causes climate change. The forest sector also reduces dependence on fossil fuels by using residuals and byproducts to produce renewable energy. In addition, forest products such as biomaterials and bio-chemicals store CO2 and can replace products made from materials with a heavier carbon footprint. This storage can also be prolonged through recycling.
Aida Greenbury of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) today joined business and environmental leaders to develop global forest restoration initiatives at the 2015 meeting of the Bonn Challenge in Germany. Speaking at the meeting, Aida Greenbury of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) called for more sustainable, long-term, multi-stakeholder partnerships to be implemented in the fight against deforestation and climate change. On the topic of APP’s experiences in Indonesia, Greenbury said: “Land cannot be conserved or restored in isolation, the sustainability of the entire landscape must be taken into account and many stakeholders must be involved.”
Robert Glowinski, President and CEO, AWC: “We support clean air and realistic, science-based air quality standards. However, a further restriction is not justified because the health effects evidence for ozone has not changed significantly since EPA last tightened the ozone NAAQS in 2008. In fact, EPA just published the 2008 Ozone Implementation rule earlier this month, seven years after it set the new standard. So before EPA again changes the rules, the 2008 standard should first be fully implemented by the states and its impacts assessed before the goal posts are moved once more.” Donna Harman, President and CEO, AF&PA: “The costs of further tightening the standard are significant when there is such scientific uncertainty. EPA’s own cost benefit analysis would make the ozone rule one of the most expensive air regulations ever. The proposed revisions could place most of the country in nonattainment, putting five times more paper and wood product mills at risk.”
American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement supporting bills introduced today by Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Reps. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and Bob Latta (R-Ohio) that would prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from tightening national ambient air quality standards for ozone until at least 85 percent of the counties in non-attainment meet the 2008 standard.
“With forestry in India being at a critical crossroad, the decision to develop our own national forest certification system will be an important driver to promote the sustainable management of our forest resources,” said KK Singh, Chairman of the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF). “While India is among the world’s most forested countries, we also have a growing demand for wood products, and unsustainable use of forests, for example for wood fuel, is a significant challenge,” continued Mr. Singh. “Forest certification will help us not only in mainstreaming sustainability in forest management, but also in raising awareness with companies and consumers about the importance of sourcing and buying responsibly sourced wood products.”
The American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA) 2014 Community Access Survey shows that overall consumer access to community paper and paperboard recycling in the U.S. reached 96 percent, up from 87 percent in 2010. The survey evaluated 12 separate grades of paper and paperboard, which all showed access increases. Access for 9 of the 12 grades is now at or above 90 percent. The executive summary of the survey is available at: http://paperrecycles.org/sustainability/2014-af-pa-community-access-survey
The sustainable management of India’s forests is set to take a significant step forward next week with the launch of the development process of the Indian national forest certification system. This launch, an important step towards PEFC-recognized forest management certification in the country, will be part of an international conference on forest certification in New Delhi on Monday. “In light of India’s vast forest resource, burgeoning economy, and strategic position in international markets, there is great opportunity to further position India’s forestry sector on sustainability, especially through broader uptake of forest certification,” said Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development at PEFC International.
“Greenwashing” is now a term most of us are familiar with. It means “the practice of making an unsubstantiated or misleading claim about the environmental benefits of a product, service or technology.” Terrachoice[i] found that over 95% of “greener” products commit one or more of the seven “Sins of Greenwashing,” so it’s a major problem in the marketplace. Paper products in particular seem to suffer from many unsubstantiated and vague claims, especially when it comes to corporations trying to promote electronic services over paper-based communications. The bottom line is that corporate marketers need to follow certain specific guidelines for environmental marketing, such as those published by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission[ii], and in Canada by the Competition Bureau of Canada[iii]. If they don’t, their company could face corrective action by the FTC[iv]. The International Standardization Organization (ISO) also has a series of standards on environmental declarations (ISO 14020) and has classified environmental claims into three categories – Type I, Type II and Type III.
The Canadian forest products industry now has 43% of the world’s independently certified forests or more than 160 million hectares, which is four times more than any other country. Certified forests means that companies follow progressive social and environmental forest management practices as assessed by an independent third body. This includes prompt regeneration of the forest land, sustainable harvest levels, protection of biodiversity and wildlife habitat and aboriginal engagement. “The environmental credentials of the Canadian forest industry are truly world-leading when it comes to certification,” says David Lindsay the president and CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). “The international marketplace can truly feel confident that Canadian forest products come from responsibly managed forests.”
Today at the meeting of the Environmental Commission at the Bratsk City Duma, Vasily Konovalov, Director Occupational Health, Industrial, Environmental and Fire Safety, Bratsk Branch of OJSC Ilim Group, reported the status of the environmental program implemented by the Company to reduce its environmental footprint. The program was presented by Company management to Bratsk Mayor Sergey Serebrennikov and Bratsk City Duma deputies in January 2015, and approved by the regional authorities.
New research, commissioned by the international non-profit organization Two Sides, has revealed that major global corporations are still using inaccurate and misleading environmental claims to encourage consumers to ‘go paperless’ and switch from paper-based to digital communication. This is despite legislation being introduced by advertising standards authorities to protect the consumer from being misled. The survey, undertaken in February 2015, showed that in the UK, there is still a significant proportion of banks, utilities and telecoms making false environmental claims. Research in the US shows a similar picture with half of the leading Fortune 500 companies in the same sectors doing the same. “This is extremely frustrating and unacceptable,” says Martyn Eustace, Founder of the Two Sides initiative. “The fact that marketers in some of the most high profile corporations in the world are still using unsubstantiated and misleading environmental claims to persuade consumers to switch from paper-based to cheaper electronic communication is outrageous. Many consumers want a paper option but they are being manipulated by a lack of clear and accurate information. Paper is based on a natural, highly renewable and recyclable resource and can be a sustainable way to communicate, especially when compared to electronic media."
The Norwegian Forest Certification Scheme has become the latest system to seek PEFC endorsement for the fourth time. Stakeholders globally are invited to provide feedback on its compliance with PEFC International's Sustainability Benchmarks by 4 May 2015. Alongside Finland and Sweden, Norway was among the first countries to achieve endorsement of its national forest certification system back in 2000. This was then followed by two successful re-endorsements of the system in 2006 and 2010. There are now over 9 million hectares of PEFC-certified Norwegian forests, making up almost 90% of the country’s forests. Practically all production forest in Norway is PEFC certified.
Despite challenging economic conditions and the drop in China's overall imports, Europe's leading recovered fiber exporter — the UK — still succeeded in shipping out larger volumes last year, according to latest figures from the country's Confederation of Paper Industries and HM Revenue & Customs. Combined, UK exports of all grades climbed 4.4% to 4.436 million tonnes in 2014 from 4.248 million tonnes in the previous year. Overseas shipments of corrugated and kraft edged 2.1% higher to 2.458 million tonnes while mixed paper deliveries to customers abroad soared 29.2% to 1.414 million tonnes. These gains more than offset steep declines for the high grades (-34.5% to 103 802 tonnes) and for newspapers and magazines (-21.6% to 460 199 tonnes).
Opponents of a California plastic bag ban have succeeded in stopping the ban from going into effect July 1 by securing a spot on the 2016 ballot. The Golden State had been slated to become the first US state to institute such a ban, but Tuesday, state election officials confirmed that the national advocacy group American Progressive Bag Alliance had collected the necessary half million signatures to place the issue before voters. This will stall a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in September until after the 2016 election.
The research revealed that over half of the 2,289 people surveyed in the nationwide poll, (some 57%) said they preferred their grocery and food packaging in paper-based material, whilst some 31% expressed no preference and just 8% preferred plastic containers. The consumers surveyed were also asked how likely they were to purchase a product from a retailer using paper-based containers as opposed to plastic containers. Some 46% said they were more likely to purchase an item if the packaging was paper-based, compared to 47% who said it would make no difference.
Print is a responsible environmental choice and an important touchpoint of any marketing campaign. That was the key message the audience heard last Thursday during the annual Ryerson Colloquium organized by the students of the Graphic Communications Management program. Dubbed Revive, Breaking Sustainability Myths, this year’s event featured a panel that set about outlining and then busting some often-heard myths about the sustainability of printing and using trees. For instance Monika Patel, director of programs and communications at the Forest Stewardship Council, told the industry crowd that trees are a renewable resource that can be planted again, once cut down. And, while recycled paper is good, the world would run out of paper if we only used recycled fibres.
Developing a much stronger presence in South America to better communicate the benefits of forest certification to forest owners, companies and consumers - this is the objective of the first PEFC South American Regional Workshop. The workshop, which will take place from 20-24 April 2015 in Montevideo, Uruguay, will bring together South American based PEFC organizations and external stakeholders to assess opportunities for identifying potential synergies and improving collaboration and coordination, and to develop strategies to improve market demand and access for PEFC-certified products.
One of our most important resources, the Myths & Facts Booklet, has been updated for 2015 including two new facts on; the benefits of packaging and, consumers choice to receive paper communications. Paper has been around for almost 2000 years and, during this time, it has undoubtedly established itself as the most effective and versatile means of communication. However, for a long time the industry has tolerated misinformation about its environmental record. Commonly, that print and paper are considered a primary cause of deforestation, uses a lot of non-renewable energy and has a high carbon footprint. The reality is very different. European forests having grown by 30% since 1950 and are expanding by 1.5 million football pitches every year. Furthermore, the paper industry is Europe’s largest user of renewable, low carbon energy and 54% of the energy used in European paper making is biomass based. It is important not to forget that the digital alternatives also have impacts.
Thoro Packaging has joined Two Sides North America, the non-profit organization that promotes and encourages the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper.
PEFC International is extremely pleased to welcome New Zealand as the newest member of the PEFC alliance. With the acceptance of the New Zealand Forest Certification Association (NZFCA) as the PEFC National Member for New Zealand, the country’s forest growers gain visibility in the world’s leading forest certification system.