Global Fiber Procurement Policy

January 27, 2023

International Paper is one of the world’s leading producers of renewable, fiber-based products. Our Vision is to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world. Our Mission is to improve people’s lives, the planet and our company’s performance by transforming renewable resources into products people depend on every day. 

We do the right things, in the right ways, for the right reasons, all of the time—this is The IP Way. Together, The IP Way and our Core Values serves as our guideposts as we carry out our Mission:

Safety – Above all, we care about people. We look out for each other to ensure everyone arrives home safely.

Ethics – We act honestly and operate with integrity and respect. We promote a culture of openness and accountability.

Stewardship – We are responsible stewards of people and communities, natural resources and capital. We strive to leave everything in better shape for future generations.

The IP Way Forward is our Strategic Framework for achieving our Vision to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world. The IP Way Forward consists of five Strategic Drivers that define how we are creating value for all stakeholders for generations to come:

The IP Way Forward strategic framework

Strategic Driver: Sustaining Forests 

Our entire business depends on the sustainability of forests. We will continue to lead the world in responsible forest stewardship to ensure healthy and productive forest ecosystems for generations to come. This Strategic Driver includes three Key Commitments: 

  • Keep forestland forested 
  • Support forest ecosystems 
  • Maximize fiber use, recovery and reuse
Our Commitment to Healthy and Abundant Forests 

International Paper recognizes that a sustainably managed forest is one that maintains and enhances economic, social, and environmental values for the benefit of present and future generations. We are committed to producing the products our customers need, while ensuring responsible stewardship of the world’s natural resources. To meet the expectations of our employees, customers and other stakeholders, we will lead forest stewardship efforts globally to build a better future for people, the planet, and our company. We further commit to enabling healthy forest landscapes beyond our own supply chains by investing in research, restoration and conservation initiatives that benefit forests, watersheds and biodiversity.

Our Global Fiber Procurement Policy 

Given our dependence on sourcing fiber from privately owned working forests, we aim to operate an unparalleled fiber procurement system consistent with our Core Values of Safety, Ethics, and Stewardship. 

For fiber that we purchase, we commit to sourcing according to the following principles: 

  • We will follow all applicable laws to source only legal fiber from supply chains with known origin of fiber; 
  • We will implement third-party certified procurement systems (Chain of Custody) at our packaging, pulp and paper mills; 
  • We will promote safe and healthy working conditions with our suppliers; 
  • We will engage with stakeholders, including providing technical assistance, to advance sustainable forest management practices; 
  • We will utilize geographic information system mapping (GIS) technology and/or associated risk-based due diligence procedures to ensure our procurement activities maintain or enhance the environmental, social, and economic values of the forests from which we source fiber.

We will not accept: 

  • Fiber from an unknown region of origin; 
  • Fiber that has been illegally harvested or acquired; 
  • Fiber sourced from forests in which high conservation values are threatened by forest management activities; 
  • Fiber that is non-compliant with our Chain of Custody certification requirements for forest conversions; 
  • Fiber from sources that have known violations of human rights, including conflict timber
Our Position on Third-Party Certification 

We champion third-party verification of sustainable forest management through tools such as forest management and Chain of Custody certification, and we will continue to meet our customers’ demand for certified-fiber products. We also recognize the administrative and financial challenges of forest certification for small landowners, and in response, we invest our own financial and technical resources to support landowners to achieve certification of their forest management practices, including managing our own group certificates.

Supporting Forest Ecosystems 

The soil, water, biodiversity, climate, cultural, economic and recreational values of healthy forests benefit the planet and communities far beyond our own supply chains. As one of the world’s largest users of wood fiber, we want to amplify our positive impacts on forests via conservation and restoration activities that complement our commitment to sustainable forest management and responsible sourcing. 

We work collaboratively with national and global forest conservation organizations to aid their efforts and to develop actions that improve our own procurement practices. These strategic partnerships are essential to achieve the scale necessary for long-term impact and to develop sustainable solutions that address critical regional and global forestry issues.

We collaborate with academic institutions, associations, environmental non-profit organizations and government agencies to advance initiatives in the following areas: 

  • Species conservation through habitat enhancement; 
  • Reforestation of native species; 
  • Research in forest science and economics; 
  • Watershed restoration; 
  • Enhanced carbon sequestration and climate mitigation in working forests; 
  • Biodiversity monitoring; 
  • Forestland owner education and outreach; 
  • Sustainable forest management education; 
  • Creating enabling conditions for sustainable forest management policies and practices.
Vision 2030 

Vision 2030 demonstrates our commitment to building a better future for people, the planet and our company. It consists of four goals and eight corresponding targets that enable us to measure our progress:

Healthy & Abundant Forests – Lead forest stewardship efforts globally.
  • Source 100% of our fiber from sustainably managed forests or recovered fiber while safeguarding forests, watersheds and biodiversity
  • Conserve and restore 1 million acres (~400,000 hectares) of ecologically significant forestland
Sustainable Operations – Improve our climate impact and advance water stewardship
  • Reduce our Scope 1, 2 & 3 greenhouse gas emissions by 35%, aligned with the best-available climate science
  • Reduce our water use by 25% and implement context-based water management plans at all mills
Thriving People & Communities – Promote employee well-being by providing safe, caring and inclusive workplaces and strengthen the resilience of our communities
  • Achieve zero injuries for employees and contractors
  • Improve the lives of 100 million people in our communities
  • Achieve 30% overall representation of women and 50% women in salaried positions; implement regional diversity plans, including 30% minorities in U.S. salaried positions
Renewable Solutions – Accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy through innovative fiber-based products
  • Advance circular solutions throughout our value chain and create innovative products that are 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable