Forest Management Certification

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In the United States, more than 90 percent of our fiber supply comes from privately owned forests.

Around 30 percent of the world's working forests are certified*. We recognize that encouraging responsible stewardship is one of the keys to protecting global forestlands and ensuring a sustainable supply of wood fiber for our business needs. Globally, we follow a certification policy that recognizes all credible third-party standards. These include the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSC®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFCTM), and national standards recognized by PEFC like the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) in the U.S. and Certificacão Florestal (CERFLOR) in Brazil. All of the forestland we lease, own or manage in Brazil and Russia and is certified according to national or international forest management standards.

About Third Party Verification

Responsible forest management and fiber sourcing practices can be verified by third-party certifiers to a number of independent standards. Third-party experts verify a company's performance against a set of objectives detailed in the standards. The following are three types of certifications:

  • Forest Management — Certification of the activities of land management – harvesting to reforestation
  • Fiber Procurement — A certification offered by SFI®, which includes land management as well as the responsible purchasing of timber and contracting for harvesting and transportation.
  • Chain of Custody — Certification that verifies that policies, systems and procedures are in place to track wood fiber from the forest, through the manufacturing and converting processes and then to customers.
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Strategy

Developing new sources of third-party-certified fiber is not easy. Landowners can be reluctant to take on the additional responsibility and costs associated with certifying their property. Our strategy relies on working directly with suppliers and landowners to encourage them to make this investment, and we deploy significant resources in this effort. Professional foresters and wildlife biologists from International Paper provide technical support to suppliers and landowners on developing forest management plans required for certification audits.

Performance

Since 2010, International Paper has increased its certified fiber use by more than four million tons in our global system.

  • Forest Management Certification Highlights  
    • In the United States, 28 percent of International Paper's sourced fiber is third-party forest management–certified (ATFS, FSC® or SFI®).
    • Outside North America, approximately 47 percent of the combined fiber sourced in 2013 was third-party–certified. Our teams in Europe, Russia and Brazil also have made excellent progress in increasing certified fiber volume.Highlights include:
        — Russia: All forests directly leased or managed and harvested by International Paper are FSC-certified.

        — Brazil: All forests owned and managed by International Paper in Brazil are PEFC-certified, and 90 percent of owned land is FSC-certified.

        — France: The Saillat Mill manages an FSC group certification project that included 89 new members in 2013.

    • We worked directly with landowners and suppliers in the United States to achieve individual FSC certification, and, since 2007, we’ve added approximately 1.5 million tons of FSC-certified wood fiber to our U.S. paper and packaging manufacturing system. We are expecting to add an additional 300,000 tons during 2014.
    • In 2012, we began facilitating group FSC certification for landowners in the southeast United States. During 2013, we worked with 43 new landowners to certify an additional 67,000 acres to the FSC Standard through the group certification program. This initiative enabled a group of small, non-industrial landowners to certify their collective holdings under a single FSC certificate. The Group FSC Certification provides an opportunity that may not have otherwise been realized, because many of the participants are small, private landowners, and securing an individual certification for their property is not a financially viable option.
  • Reporting and Engagement  

    Global: For the fourth year in a row, we submitted information on our forestry operations to the Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD) Project. The FFD collects information for investors on the operational, reputational and regulatory risks and opportunities of companies related to their forestry operations. This year International Paper’s scope was limited to North America, Brazil and India.

    United States: Our Global Sourcing-Fiber Supply employees, led by David Liebetreu, Vice President of Global Sourcing, engage with stakeholders at a national level through the Forest Resource Association and the American Forest & Paper Association. We are also actively involved in state forestry associations as board directors and committee members on forest management, timber harvesting, logger training, and public affairs committees.

    France: Our Saillat Mill is represented as a member of FSC, and a member of the French Technical Workgroup for PEFC.

    Brazil: We are part of the Forestry Certification Working Group of the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Association, and we are a member of the Brazilian FSC Standardization Committee. We also coordinate the Brazilian Forest Management Technical Committee concerning CERFLOR and PEFC certification.

    Russia: We are a participant in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources Working Group and are actively engaged in discussing improving sustainable forestry regulations.

    Customer Engagement: To give customers relevant information on our products, we provide a range of product certifications and documentation. Our product verifications cover criteria such as regulatory status, suitability for intended use, chemicals of concern, recycled content, recyclability and compostability, as well as certification standards.

Source: UNECE/FAO 2010-2011 Forest Products Annual Market Review

FEATURED STORY

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International Paper France Works to Educate Customers and Landowners on Responsible Forest Management

Our stewardship efforts actively address the environmental, social and economic values of forests. One example of how International Paper is educating employees, customers and other stakeholders about forest stewardship comes from an employee-led initiative at our Saillat Mill in France: The mill, managed by Phillippe D’Adhemar, constructed an educational forest trail, tracking International Paper’s role from tree to paper, and highlighting key aspects of forest management. Trail walkers can learn about the forest ecosystem and harvesting techniques used to ensure forest health. This exciting project was completed in March 2014.

FEATURED STORY

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IP Supports Responsible Forestry with World Wildlife Fund Relationship

In 2013, International Paper joined the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Global Forest & Trade Network North America (GFTN-NA), a WWF initiative focused on eliminating illegal logging and promoting environmentally and socially responsible forest management. Our participation in the GFTN-NA is aligned with our internal goal of increasing fiber certification. This initiative complements our Responsible Fiber Sourcing Policy and our longstanding efforts to promote legal and sustainable forest management around the world. The initial scope of International Paper’s participation in the GFTN includes fiber sourced for our North American and Brazilian mills, representing more than two-thirds of our global fiber volume. For more information on GFTN see www.gftn.panda.org.

FEATURED STORY

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Poplar plantation showcases sustainable innovation in Poland

International Paper’s poplar plantations in Poland set the example for responsible fiber sourcing. The plantations consist of fast-growing varieties of poplar trees that are intended to provide pulpwood and biomass for energy. Our plantation program was recognized by the Polish Minister of the Environment as a sustainable innovation in fiber sourcing and as a model of successful collaboration among farmers, government and industry within the European Union. The tree plantations — which are established on agricultural land — provide environmental benefits, create new sources of revenue for farmers and facilitate our compliance with environmental legislation.

FEATURED STORY

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Pioneering India Farm Forestry: IP India

Farm forestry is the cultivation of sourced plantations, usually on former agricultural land. International Paper APPM established a farm forestry program in 1989, working with local farmers to plant casuarina, leucanea and eucalyptus seedlings. The program has enabled farmers in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore of Andhra Pradesh to cultivate forest plantations on their land. From 1989 to 2013, more than 1 billion seedlings were distributed to approximately 48,000 beneficiaries, allowing the planting of over 390,000 acres. In addition to creating a secure fiber supply for IP India, the program has significant benefits to the agrarian economy. The involvement of previously marginalized women in farm forestry, the employment of landless laborers and the sale of wood are some of the benefits that have resulted in noticeable improvement in the economic status and quality of life of the farming community.

FEATURED STORY

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RPPN Forest Park SÃo Marcelo

In December 2013, International Paper celebrated 10 years of conservation and collaboration through our Private Reserve of Natural Heritage (RPPN), in São Marcelo, Brazil. The celebration included attendees from environmental and governmental entities, who learned about plant and animal life, environmental legislation and public policies. Encompassing 460 acres, the RPPN São Marcelo Forest Park engages in ongoing conservation and protection of soil and water resources. RPPN also contributes to the development of scientific research and educational outreach.

FEATURED STORY

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China Green Foundation

In 2013, IP Asia, led by IP China President Cecilia Ho, supported reforestation in the Jinshanling area near Beijing in partnership with the China Green Foundation. Our donation supported the planting of additional seedlings, which will help mitigate the impacts of sandstorms common to the region. It was the fourth consecutive year we have supported this project.