European pulp and paper industry takes care of the forest
“The paper industry destroys forests”:a common misconception put forward by environmentalists all around the globe. What they don’t realise is that the European paper industry…
- contributes to keep up forests.
- practices sustainable forest management.
- is not responsible for the depletion of tropical forests.
From all the wood extracted around the world’s forests, 53% is used for energy production, 28% is used by sawmills and only around 11% is used directly by the paper industry(1). The paper industry depends on wood and needs thriving forests. It is very much in our interest that wood is used sustainably and will remain available as a raw material to future generations.
From a tree the branches cut to maintain a healthy forest are used for paper making. Residues from saw mills such as wood chips, are also used as raw material for paper. Over the years, thinning operations weed out the weaker trees, but there is still a net gain. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calculates that the annual increase of forest cover in EU 27 member countries is app. 503 000 ha/yr. This corresponds to the size of 3403 football (soccer) fields per day and an area almost twice as large as Luxembourg every year(2).
Deforestation is generally occurring in the southern hemisphere and is mainly due to unsustainable agricultural practices and fuel requirements. The European paper industry supports sustainable forest management as well as certification. A sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest growth, while producing an annual sustained yield of wood, will generate the largest carbon storage benefit(3). We support certification as a way of documenting sustainable forest management. Certificates based on defined criteria issued by independent auditors make this verifiable for customers and consumers(4). Half of Europe’s forests and 92.2% of forests owned by paper companies are certified(5).
In Europe, the paper industry signed up for a Legal Logging Code of Conduct(6) in 2005 firmly condemning illegal logging and related corruption and criminal activities. Our commitment to responsible sourcing is clear and beyond any reasonable doubt.
More forest related news in the European paper industry at http://www.cepi.org/topics/forest
Or visit paperonline.org for more myth busters at http://www.paperonline.org/myths-and-realities
Information about the International Day of Forests: http://www.fao.org/forestry/international-day-of-forests/en/
1. FAO Statistics 2007
2. FAO Statistics 2010
3. 4th Assessment of the UN intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
4. To learn more about certification, please visit www.fsc.org and www.pefc.org
5. CEPI Sustainability Report 2011
6. Legal Logging Code of Conduct for the Paper Industry
On 7 February the European Commission released the long overdue EU Timber Regulation guidance. This non-legally binding document attempts to explain the provisions of the Regulation 995/2010 “laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market”.
The guidance fails to clarify the provisions related to the terms “operator” and “placing on the market” as defined in articles 2 (b) and (c) of Regulation (EU)995/2010. Instead it modifies the provisions set in the legally binding Regulation and places more burden on European industry, including the forest-based sector.
“Once again the European Commission overlooks the competitiveness of the European industry, putting it at a disadvantage vis-a-vis foreign competitors. And this in spite of the constant pledges for the need to re-industrialise Europe.” said Teresa Presas, CEPI Director General, expressing the sentiment in CEPI.
In addition, by altering the definition of an “operator” three weeks before the Regulation enters into application, the European Commission creates more unclarities for the economic actors dealing with timber and timber products in Europe than it resolves. "The proposed clarifications clearly contradict previous legal interpretations of the Regulation”, adds Bernard de Galembert, CEPI Forest Director.
For more information, please contact Daniela Haiduc at email@example.com, mobile: +32 473 562 936
Note to the Editor
EU Timber regulation guidance document:
CEPI aisbl - The Confederation of European Paper Industries
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) is a Brussels-based non-profit organisation regrouping the European pulp and paper industry and championing industry’s achievements and the benefits of its products. Through its 18 member countries (17 European Union members plus Norway) CEPI represents some 520 pulp, paper and board producing companies across Europe, ranging from small and medium sized companies to multi-nationals, and 1000 paper mills. Together they represent 25% of world production.
In a newsrelease Eurostat mentioned on Thursday that ‘a possible further increase in the demand for fuelwood would be sustainable’, due to the fact that sustainable forest management ensures a growing forest in Europe. Whilst the arithmetics of Eurostat are correct, the economics of biomass markets challenge the Eurostat statement, which is why the European pulp and paper industry is calling for a biomass supply policy.
Forest biomass that is easily accessible has long been used and developed by foresters, wood, pulp and paper industries. The remaining forest resources are mostly located in very small and scattered private properties or in areas that are difficult to access, hence making the mobilisation of such biomass more difficult and less cost competitive. To gain access to such resources an ambitious biomass supply policy is required, which includes financial incentives to increase mobilisation. For the moment, it is still cheaper to import wood pallets from overseas (e.g. Canada) for energy production rather than mobilising certain categories of forest biomass in Europe.
At a moment when the ministers are discussing both the Multiannual Financial Framework and the future CAP, opportunities to design ambitious biomass supply policies in the EU are within reach.
But mobilisation is not enough. A study on ‘Wood flows in EU27’ shows that the development of energy from biomass should only be considered when applying a "cascading approach", a principle that aims at promoting the most efficient use of natural resources, while optimizing value creation, ideally first for food, then products and finally for energy. The infographic shows that the cascading factor for paper is 2.38, meaning that due to recycling and the use of waste and by-products in the pulp and paper industry, 1 m3 of wood creates products worth 2.38 m3 of wood.
This is resource efficiency at its best.
For more information, please contact Daniela haiduc at firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +32 473 562936
Note to the Editor
Eurostat press release: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/5-29112012-AP/EN/5-29112012-AP-EN.PDF
Infographic – efficient use of wood http://www.cepi.org/node/12755
Full study – Wood flows in EU27 http://digibook.digi-work.com/Digibooks.aspx/Get/cepi/798/CEPIWoodFlowsinEurope2012pdf
Resource efficiency: How to make best use of our natural resources? http://www.cepi.org/node/12751
Update February 2013: The final guidance document has been made public by the European Commission. To view it click on the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/pdf/Final%20Guidance%20document.pdf
Back in 2002, awareness that illegally logged wood was sold and used in Europe grew rapidly in Europe. The first response of the European Institutions was the FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) Action Plan that was listing a series of actions aiming at curbing down illegal logging. Among these possible actions, the negotiations of bilateral agreements with timber producing and exporting countries – the so-called Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPA) -, the adaptation of public procurement policies, the better use of existing instruments (like the CITES Convention or the EU measures against money laundering), capacity building and development aid for the producing countries, private sector voluntary initiatives, etc. Later, the EU felt the need to develop a legislative proposal with a views to “minimize the risk” of placing illegally logged timber on the EU market. The idea of the Regulation was born.
The Regulation requires anyone who supplies or sells timber or a processed timber products for the first time on the EU market to carry out a due diligence, assess the potential risks related to the products (origin, species, etc.) and, if needed, mitigate the risks. Still any subsequent user of the wood or wood products, once it has been placed on the market, must provide basic information on his supplier and his buyer.
CEPI created a simple decision tree, that can be followed as a video, pausing where necessary, to check whether one needs to exercise ‘due diligence’ or not and how to do it. The decision tree brings the issue down to a simple matrix, making it easy for any user of paper or wood products to determine their obligations in this EU Timber Regulation.
Full list of exceptions for the EU Timber Regulation: http://www.euflegt.efi.int/files/attachments/euflegt/summary_eu_timber_regulation_27012012.pdf
European Commission page on the EU timber regulation http://ec.europa.eu/environment/forests/timber_regulation.htm
CEPI created an infographic on raw material efficiency in the European paper industry. The infographic is based on a 2011 study by Udo Mantau from the University of Hamburg. The study, based on data from FAO and Eurostat, shows how much wood is growing in the EU forests and which fraction of this wood is harvested to be used as a raw material for the production of paper and wood products.