The Myth: Paper Is Bad For The Environment

Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable material, and 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. There are some 30 schemes in existence, but the two main auditable certifications that have emerged are the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)®, and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)®. At the moment too few of the world's forests are formally certified but Two Sides actively supports certification programmes and believes these provide consumers with reassurance.

‘In the period 1990-2010, 870 million tonnes of CO2 have been removed by European forests; equivalent to about 10% of the Greenhouse Gas emissions.’

MCPFE, State of Europe’s Forests 2011, Page 7

FSC®, (Forest Stewardship Council), provides global standards for forest management which cover a balance of environmental, social and economic aspects. The wellbeing of forest communities and ecosystems is as important as replacing trees in ensuring the future of the world's forests. The FSC®system also provides a way of tracking forest products through independently verified Chain of Custody certification. This has to cover every stage in processing, conversion, distribution and printing before the final product can carry the FSC® label.

The PEFC®, (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), Council is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation, founded in 1999. PEFC's®Chain of Custody certification is a mechanism for tracking certified material from the forest to the final product to ensure that the wood, wood fibre or non-wood forest produce contained in the product or product line can be traced back to certified forests

Sustainability Facts

  • Paper is based on wood, a fully renewable and sustainable resource.
  • Forest certification ensures wood comes from well managed forests.
  • Paper production is not a major cause of deforestation globally.
  • Responsible wood, pulp and paper production ensures healthy growing forests.
  • European forests are today 30% larger than in 1950 (1).
  • The annual increase of forest cover in Europe is equivalent to more than 1.5 million football pitches
  • In 2010, 61.6% of the European paper industry's virgin wood fibre was certified, 5% more than in 2008

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