Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable material. As young trees grow they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. Furthermore, as a wood product, paper also continues to store carbon throughout its lifetime.
The paper industry has a number of respected certification schemes ensuring the paper you use has come from a sustainable forest source. The two most recognisable certifications are the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™).
FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) helps take care of forests and the people and wildlife who call them home. It runs a global forest certification system with two key components: Forest Management and Chain of Custody certification. This system allows consumers to identify, purchase and use wood, paper and other forest products produced from well-managed forests and/or recycled materials. FSC’s “tick tree” logo is used to indicate that products are certified under the FSC system. When you see the FSC logo on a label, you can buy forest products with confidence that you are helping to ensure our forests are alive for generations to come.
PEFC™ (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999 which promotes sustainably managed forests through independent third-party certification. PEFC™ provides an assurance mechanism to purchasers of wood and paper products that they are promoting the sustainable management of forests.
Forests play an important role in mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Europe’s forests store almost 80 billion tonnes of carbon in their biomass. The stock of carbon in forest biomass has increased by around 3 billion tonnes since 1990. This means that forests absorb around 7% of the annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the region.
EEA, The European Environment – State and Outlook, 2015
¹FAO, 2015. Global Forest Resources Assessment 2015, How are the World’s Forests Changing?
²CEPI Sustainability Report, 2013
³UNECE, 2015. Forests in the ECE Region