Sustainable Forestry

Sustainable Forestry — A Global View

More than 30 percent of the earth's land surface — almost 10 billion acres — is covered by forests*. Almost two-thirds are considered working forests, the productive forestlands that are actively managed to generate multiple resources, including wood fiber, recreation, wildlife, aesthetics, clean water and other forest ecosystem values. When managed responsibly, working forests can produce a continuous and sustainable supply of these important resources. Each year, less than 1% of the wood from these forests is harvested. The remaining one-third of forested area is considered primary forest, which means human activities in these forests have been limited or are entirely absent.

Globally, many forests have been converted to non-forest uses, such as agricultural production and urban development, to meet increasing demands of growing populations. Although deforestation has slowed and even reversed in many economically developed countries, forest conversion for food production, fuel, and development pressures continues to drive deforestation in some developing countries.

“A significant challenge for the forestry profession is to communicate and demonstrate the simple idea that one of the best ways of saving a forest is to use it.” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations State of the World Forests Report 2012

International Paper's Role

Trees are International Paper’s primary raw material. Our global demand for fiber is an important economic driver for the existence of tens of millions of acres of forested land. In 2013, we purchased 71 million tons of wood fiber and pulp in the United States, Brazil, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, China and India. Brazil and Russia are the only countries where we source wood fiber directly from lands owned or leased to International Paper. In the United States, we buy wood fiber primarily from private landowners. When consumers use wood-based products, they provide a direct financial incentive for landowners to keep working forests working.

International Paper is committed to making quality products and ensuring responsible stewardship of the forests that supply our wood. We have a Responsible Fiber Procurement Policy that states we will not knowingly accept fiber from illegally logged forests, from forests where high conservation values are threatened by management activities or from endangered forests.

International Paper is a strong proponent of domestic and international efforts to combat illegal logging and trade. As the largest procurer of fiber in the world, we are focused on preventing illegally harvested wood products from entering U.S. and global marketplaces. We support the U.S. Lacey Act, and the EU Timber Regulation, important laws that help combat illegal logging and prohibit trafficking of illegally harvested products while protecting the competitiveness of legally harvested trees. International Paper has worked to oppose changes that would weaken the U.S. law.


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Working Forest Process

Growing forests is a long-term effort, with cycles varying depending on species and climate. Elements of a forest life cycle include managing forests for multiple values, harvesting according to forest type, and replanting or allowing the forest to naturally regenerate.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, State of the World’s Forests, 2012.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.