- Date: May 10, 2015
- Author: Jill Schwartz
Through a new project announced today, WWF and Apple will help China—the world’s largest producer and consumer of paper products—reduce its environmental footprint by producing paper products from responsibly managed forests within its own borders.
The five-year project is an opportunity to position China as a country that uses less land, water and pollution to produce paper, while still meeting the high and growing demand for paper products. This approach to forest management is increasingly common in China but not yet widespread.
The WWF and Apple project demonstrates the dynamic role that companies can play in protecting forests. WWF believes that companies should use paper more efficiently, increase recycled paper content and source paper responsibly, which Apple has publicly stated it is doing. But, to truly secure forests, companies must also proactively conserve the acreage of working forests around the world that is required to meet their needs on an annual basis. Apple is doing so, in relation to its virgin fiber footprint, through this and other initiatives.
“This project is an unprecedented opportunity to drive responsible forestry in China and highlight an exciting new model of environmental leadership in addressing forest footprints,” said Kerry Cesareo, Senior Director of Forests for WWF-US.
A key outcome of this project is increasing the amount of forest land within China that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an entity WWF helped create 20 years ago. The FSC label means the product comes from a responsibly managed forest—one that follows rigorous standards for environmental and social responsibility. In the context of this project, the FSC label will be used to identify paper products made from responsibly-sourced fiber.
Tree plantations also are central to this project. When well-managed and well-placed, tree plantations help take pressure off of natural forests to meet the growing demand for timber, paper and energy. According to WWF’s Living Forests Report, we need to nearly double tree plantation areas by 2050 to meet the demand for wood products and nearly zero out the loss of forests.
This project is a step forward to securing a future for forests and the people and species who depend on them.