Paper is a uniquely-renewable and sustainable product. The main raw material, trees, are grown and harvested in a carefully controlled and sustainable way – so successfully that European forests, where most of the raw material comes from, have grown by an area the size of Switzerland in just 10 years.
Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by 44,000 Square Kilometres – that’s an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to over 1,500 football pitches of forest growth every day!
FAO data, 2005-2015
The most common pressures causing deforestation and severe forest degradation are: large and small-scale agriculture; unsustainable logging; mining; infrastructure projects; and increased fire incidence and intensity”WWF, Deforestation Fronts website, 2018
50% of the world’s wood harvest is used as fuel. Over 30% is processed for other industrial uses, such as construction and furniture. Only around 13% is used to make paperDerived from FAOSTAT, 2018
In some countries, particularly in the tropics, there are issues over land rights and natural forest conversion to industrial plantations which are a cause of concern to the paper industry, NGOs and consumers alike.
Protected areas constitute an important element of forest protection strategies. Around 44% of the EU territory is under Natura 2000 protection. The aim is to protect Europe’s most valuable and threatened habitats and species. Forests make up almost half of the area of Natura 2000 sites (i.e. 37.5 million ha) and 23% of all forests in Europe are within Natura 2000 sites.EEA, European Forest Ecosystems – State and Trends, 2016
The Two Sides initiative supports solutions to these problems and recognises the need to support products which can clearly be traced to sustainable sources.
More than 90% of the pulpwood we use is sourced from the EUCEPI Statistics, 2018
In northern Europe, where almost all ancient Forests are protected, paper comes from managed semi-natural forests where the cycle of planting, growing and logging is carefully controlled.
More than 60% of forests in EU-28 are certified, mostly under the FSC or PEFC or both. The proportion of certified forests in Europe is substantial compared with the world as a whole, as only 12% of the world’s forest areas are certified.EEA, European Forest Ecosystems – State and Trends, 2016
Today forests and other wooded land in the EU-28 amount to about 180 million hectares, making Europe one of the most forest-rich regions in the world, with more than 42% of its land covered by forestsEEA, Landscapes in Transition, 2017