Global Forest and Paper Industry Makes Progress on Sustainability Commitments
The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations’ (ICFPA) 2015 Sustainability Progress Report shows improvements on a range of sustainability indicators and focuses on the industry’s contributions toward a green economy.
The full report is available at http://www.icfpa.org/uploads/Modules/Publications/2015-icfpa-sustainability-progress-report.pdf.
“We are proud of the significant progress our global industry has made on our sustainability commitments,” said ICFPA President Donna Harman. “We look forward to continuing to manufacture sustainable products that people use and need while contributing to the well-being of communities around the world.”
The South African pulp and paper sector has made significant energy efficiency improvements. “We have decreased our carbon intensity by in excess of 20%, over a ten year period,” says Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (Pamsa). “The use of renewable biomass-based energy has also resulted in the avoidance of 1.3 million tonnes of fossil fuels and the associated carbon emissions by our sector. Add to this an annual sequestration rate of 20 million tonnes of CO2 by the country’s timber plantations, and you have a truly sustainable industry,” adds Molony.
The association works closely with industry to support government’s efforts to increase renewables in the energy mix. Recently, the Ngodwana Energy Biomass Project, a Sappi-led initiative, was announced as a preferred bidder in the Department of Energy’s fourth window Renewable Independent Power Producers Producer Programme (REIPPPP). This will see the establishment of a 25MW biomass project that will be fed by local plantation biomass.
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.
- Onsite energy intensity was reduced by 4.3% between 2005 and 2013.
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions decreased by 40% between 2005 and 2013.
- Employees’ recordable incident rate decreased by 9% between 2007 and 2013.
In addition to reporting on performance, the Sustainability Progress Report illustrates how the forest and paper industry is supporting a green economy through resource efficiency, carbon sequestration, innovative technologies, bio-based products, and benefiting communities.
Contributing to the 2015 report are forest and paper industry associations from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.
The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world. Together, ICFPA members represent over 90 percent of global paper production and half of global wood production.
For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit icfpa.org.