Packaging has a fundamental role in building sustainable, safe, and hygienic food systems globally. We believe that the value of packaging is more than its impact on the planet. But just as with all innovations, there are challenges to be dealt with. Water, a limited yet critical resource for both natural ecosystems and human survival, is becoming increasingly scarce. Our increasing use of this natural element, which ranges from personal consumption to agricultural and industrial applications, has led to global water demand increasing at twice the rate of population growth over the past 100 years.i Whilst climate change is an important driver of geographic water shortages across the globe, an expanding population and rapid economic development have a more immediate impact on current water levels globally. According to the EU’s Joint Research Center, approximately two-thirds of the world’s population – half of whom reside in India and China – experience severe water scarcity for at least one month per year. In Europe, more than 120 million citizens lack access to safe drinking water and half a billion people across the globe face critical shortages annually. In a study of 71 cities with more than 750,000 inhabitants, it is estimated that 35 per cent are vulnerable to water scarcity at present.ii
Stora Enso has joined the new WWF platform, Forests Forward. The platform engages businesses and investors to deliver on forest related sustainability ambitions, such as biodiversity protection and forest restoration.
As participants in Forests Forward, companies commit to engaging in areas such as sustainable forest management and trade, better silviculture, reforestation and ecosystem restoration, and biodiversity protection and recovery. Forests Forward aims to support companies, investors and communities in improving the management of a targeted 150 million hectares of forest globally by 2030.
“Sustainable forestry and biodiversity are at the top of Stora Enso’s forest management agenda. We can play a key role in contributing to more sustainable forest management, which will be enhanced with collaborations across the sector. The cooperation with WWF is a great example of a collaboration where we can exchange knowledge and findings to accelerate positive change together,” says Annette Stube, EVP, Sustainability at Stora Enso.
Forests Forward will enable companies to define and implement forward-looking, innovative pathways that have positive, clear impacts on forest landscapes. It will also enable investors to make a positive contribution to the global sustainability agenda. The platform includes an emphasis on communities and local forest management, calling for recognition of the critical role indigenous people and local communities play in forest conservation.
Forests Forward is a natural continuation for over 20 years of collaboration between Stora Enso and WWF. Within the WWF Forests Forward platform, Stora Enso cooperates with WWF Finland to promote the conservation and ecologically sustainable use of forests among private forest owners. Furthermore, together with WWF-Russia, Stora Enso supports sustainable forest management in the forest sector by promoting credible forest certification and good conservation values. At the end of 2020, the total area of forests in Russia certified by Stora Enso exceeded 1.3 million hectares.