Paper is a uniquely-renewable and sustainable product. The main raw material, trees, are grown and harvested in a carefully controlled and sustainable way – so successfully that European forests, where most of the raw material comes from, have grown by an area the size of Switzerland in just 10 years.
Between 2005 and 2015, European forests grew by 44,000 Square Kilometres – that’s an area bigger than Switzerland and amounts to over 1,500 football pitches of forest growth every day!
The most common pressures causing deforestation and severe forest degradation are: large and small-scale agriculture; unsustainable logging; mining; infrastructure projects; and increased fire incidence and intensity
50% of the world’s wood harvest is used for energy and 28% for construction. There are some other uses but paper only directly takes 13%
In some countries, particularly in the tropics, there are issues over land rights and natural forest conversion to industrial plantations which are a cause of concern to the paper industry, NGOs and consumers alike.
Forests play an important role in the conservation of biological diversity. The area of protected forests in Europe increased by around half a million hectares annually between 2000 and 2010. Half of the protected forests are managed for conservation of biodiversity.
The Two Sides initiative supports solutions to these problems and recognises the need to support products which can clearly be traced to sustainable sources.
85% of the wood used by the European Pulp and Paper Industry comes from European Forests.
In northern Europe, where almost all ancient Forests are protected, paper comes from managed semi-natural forests where the cycle of planting, growing and logging is carefully controlled.
The area under forest management certification has continued to increase, from 18 million ha under internationally verified certification in 2000 to some 438 million ha in 2014.