European paper industry activities do not endanger forests



by Massimo Medugno DG Assocarta

Nowadays the global public eye is focused on the issue of forest fires and deforestation in the Amazon.

Currently, it’s undeniable more than ever that the paper industry activities do not demage forests for the following considerations:

First of all, the raw material sourcing does not contribute to deforestation nor forest degradation anywhere in the world. In fact the association between the deforestation and the employment of paper continues to throw shade on the reputation of paper producers (that act sustainably) and on their products. In reality the deforestation in the Amazon mainly orginates from grazing and farming activities.

Then, paper industry recognises the importance of legal and sustainable sourcing of wood fibres. The best example of our commitment are the growing forests in Europe beside the increasing employment of wood and the use of the certifications as the best available tool to demonstrate the sustainable origin of fibre sourcing.

In 2017, 70.7% of wood purchased by the paper industry comes from certified forests and 83% of pulp bought by the industry was certified thanks to the forest management certification schemes.

At the same time, the European paper industry deeply supports the “sustainable development chapter” of the EU Mercosur free trade agreement, and in particular the elements related to the ‘sustainable management and conservation of forests’.

Moreover CEPI (Confederation European Paper Industry) urges politicians across the world and EU policymakers for proportionate and targeted action against deforestation and forest degradation. The confederation namely proposes expanding the scope of products under the EU Timber Regulation to printed products. Furthermore CEPI supports the initiative to tackle issues outside Europe, with a focus on the tropics. It recognises that, in some circumstances, halting deforestation would require accompanying measures to support the livelihood of local people. Development policy, and in particular more efficient agriculture demanding less farmland, and the promotion of education for girls and women, would be startingpoints.