Forest and paper industries making clear progress on sustainable development

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The report demonstrates that the sector has improved its standards with respect to several sustainability indicators. It also emphasises how significant the solutions provided by the forest and paper industries are in the transition towards a green economy.   

The ICFPA and its members have made a strong commitment to sustainable development and cooperation with other stakeholder groups. This ensures that the social, economic and environmental benefits of forests are available to present and future generations. The ICFPA signed the historic CEO Leadership Statement on Sustainability in 2006. It requires the Council to publish a biennial report on its members’ progress and performance in areas such as climate change, sustainable forest management, fighting illegal logging, and investments in workers and communities.

The report was recently published for the fourth time and it highlights measures with which forest-based industries promote the green economy. The most significant actions relate to sustainable forest management, the improved wellbeing of communities, resource efficiency, innovative technologies as well as bio-based and climate-friendly products.

Environmental indicators show improvements in many different segments

The forest and paper industries have improved standards in the effort to promote sustainability and the green economy from a global perspective. The report highlights five environmental indicators, which prove that the forest-based industries are making considerable progress: 

– the climate impact of manufacturing operations reduced by 16% between 2005 and 2011.
– the share of bioenergy in the industry’s overall fuel consumption has increased by five percentage points to 58% since 2005. 
– the share of certified forest used for the industry’s wood procurements has increased by 38 percentage points from 2000 and they now account for more than 50% of all wood procurements when measured by land area.     
– global paper recycling rates have increased by 10 percentage points to 56% between 2001 and 2011.
– sulphur dioxide emissions have reduced by 34% between 2005 and 2011.

The report is based on data supplied by forest and paper industry associations in Australia, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Europe, India, Japan, Canada, China, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia and the USA.