Forests in Europe have grown by more than 30% since 1950, rising by 1.5 million football pitches every year – an area that is four times larger than London.
“90% of deforestation is due to the application of unsustainable agricultural practices.”
Underlying causes of deforestation, the World Rainforest Movement; UN FAO
55% of the world’s deforestation is used to produce energy and 25% is used for construction. Other applications are also available, but the paper takes only 11% directly and can also use up to 7% of the construction waste.
In some countries, particularly in the tropics, disputes over land rights and the conversion of natural forests to industrial plantations, something that worries the paper industry, NGOs, and consumers.
“The single biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is the conversion of forests to cropland and pastures, mainly in the supply end.”
www.replantingtherainforests.org, April 2013
Two Sides initiative supports solutions to these problems and recognizing the need to promote products that can be clearly traced to sustainable sources.
In northern Europe, where almost all old-growth forests are protected, paper comes from managed, semi-natural forests where the cycle of planting, growth, and harvesting is carefully controlled. History stumbling blocks in northern Europe and Canada has now largely been resolved through cooperation between regulators, environmental groups and the forest industry in order to protect virgin forests.
“82.7% of the mass we use originates in Europe.”
CEPI Sustainability Report, 2011, Page 26
Forests constitute a natural habitat for wildlife. There is always room for improvement and the European Environment Agency has declared that ‘Forestry chips in Europe develop in a way that can be considered good for biodiversity’. All pulp imported to Europe meets the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation, which prohibits the import of wood products from illegally harvested timber.