The Pulp and Paper products story starts in a forest. In many countries and for many years, this has been a story of illegal logging, deforestation, pollution from pulp mills and weak recycling programs. This story is changing.
The possibility of being associated with environmental and social degradation now carries serious risks for companies trading in paper products further up the supply chain.
Regulatory penalties and reputational damage may result from violations of new legislation coming into effect banning illegal wood in Europe (FLEGT) and the United States (the Lacey Act). In addition, rising NGO and consumer concerns about product impacts can no longer be ignored.
Less well publicized than the risks, but equally important, are the opportunities. By changing their paper products stories, pioneering companies can demonstrate social and business leadership, secure a sustainable supply, reduce costs and gain real competitive advantage.
A responsible paper product respects the environment and improves people's lives at every stage of its lifecycle.
While there are issues all along the supply chain, delivering responsible paper products requires intense attention to raw material extraction, production and traceability.
Extraction: In the paper supply chain, timber harvesting has the greatest impact on the environment (forest and climate) as well as on vulnerable populations (forest dependent communities). Sourcing wood from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) provides the best assurance that the highest forest management standards have been met.
Production: Even if the raw materials are certified as sustainable, other aspects of the paper manufacturing process must be considered and constantly monitored in order for the final product to be judged responsible. These aspects include: recycled content (pre-and-post consumer), the whitening process, agricultural waste content, water and energy use, and labour conditions.
Traceability: This is the backbone of a commitment to developing legal and responsible paper products. To ensure that paper is produced from wood extracted from responsibly managed forests, companies must implement robust tracking systems all the way back to the source.
Setting up traceability systems and tackling environmental and social issues at the extraction and production stage can be particularly complex and is often distant from a company’s core business and markets. TFT supports its Members on the ground, giving objective insight into the realities of the supply chain and the practical support they need to deliver responsible paper products.
HOW WE DELIVER
TFT has a decade-long track record of successfully assisting businesses to deliver Responsible Products to market. We help you develop and implement a credible action plan. We’re present on the ground, in forests and mills, to identify and mitigate your key environmental and social risks. Our approach includes 5 key services:
1. Map the supply chain and identify key social and environmental risks;
2. Set up a traceability system all the way back to the raw material source;
3. Provide technical assistance on the ground to help tackle key sustainability risks;
4. Achieve legal compliance and certification when credible standards exist;
5. Communicate your changing product story to stakeholders.
ENGAGE WITH US
If you are interested in becoming a TFT Member and embark on the Responsible Product journey, please check the Engage with us section.