Forestry and forest products sector releases 2023 global sustainability progress report
May 31, 2023 – The International Council of Forest & Paper Associations (ICFPA) presented its biennial Sustainability Progress report at its CEOs Roundtable in Amsterdam on May 26. The 2023 report demonstrates progress in seven key areas of sustainability and highlights the role the forest sector can play in helping meet global climate goals.
South Africa, through the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA), is a longstanding member of the ICFPA and contributes data and case studies to the biennial report.
“Forestry workers and consumers of forest products are in the unique position to drive our move to a world with less dependence on fossil energy and fossil-based materials. They are doing this through sustainable forest management, advancing the forest bioeconomy, and recovering more and more paper and paper-based products and packaging for recycling,” noted Jori Ringman, ICFPA President and Director General of Cepi (the Confederation of European Pulp and Paper Industry). “I am proud of the work and leadership ICFPA has built over nearly 20 years. This report demonstrates the global impact of associations working together on a common set of commitments.”
Key progress on ICFPA’s sustainability performance indicators include:
- 50 percent of procured wood fibre came from third-party certified sustainably managed forests, a 38-percentage point increase from the 2000 baseline year.
- Greenhouse gas emission intensity decreased 23.5 percent from the 2004/2005 baseline year.
- The energy share of biomass and other renewable energy increased to 63.7 percent, a nearly 11 percentage point increase since 2004/2005.
- Sulphur dioxide emission intensity from on-site combustion sources decreased 74 percent from the 2004/2005 baseline year.
- Water use intensity decreased 9.5 percent from the baseline year.
- Investment in health and safety interventions yielded a 30 percent reduction in the global recordable incident rate from the 2006/2007 baseline with the number of recordable incidents falling to 2.81 per 100 employees annually.
- In 2021, 59.9 percent of paper and paperboard consumed globally was reprocessed by mills to make new products, marking a 13.4 percentage point increase in the global recycling rate since the year 2000.
The 2023 ICFPA Sustainability Progress Report also includes the 2023 International Finalists for the prestigious ICFPA Blue Sky Young Researchers and Innovation Award. The theme for the 2022-2023 Blue Sky Awards was “Building a Lower Carbon Economy with Climate Positive Forestry and Forest Products.”
Representing South Africa among the top three finalists in this year’s awards was Leane Naude, a Master of Science (Chemical Engineering) student at North West University, presented a more cost-effective purification method of lignosulphonate, an abundant and versatile alternative to fossil-based fuels.
ICFPA serves as a forum of global dialogue, coordination and co-operation. Currently, the ICFPA represents 16 pulp, paper, wood and fibre-based associations that encompass 27 countries, including many of the top pulp, paper and wood producers around the world.
Download the 2023 ICFPA Sustainability Progress Report.