Environmental Sustainability is in Our Nature
FPAC members are global leaders in producing sustainable forest products under strict environmental rules. In fact, Canada's forestry regulations and laws were cited in a study from Yale University as being among the most stringent in the world.1
Against this tough regulatory backdrop, FPAC members continued to make good progress on environmental performance in 2009 and 2010. FPAC members maintained their strong commitment to sustainable forest management, fighting climate change, conserving water, reducing air pollution and reusing fibre.
1 Global Environmental Forest Policies: Canada as a Constant Case Comparison of Select Forest Practice Regulations, Cashore, Benjamin. Yale University, 2004.
Science and Verification
FPAC members' approach to sustainable forest management has its foundation in science. All of our policies and practices are based on six verifiable, scientifically tested criteria of sustainability developed by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. Each criteria is supported by specific measurable indicators.
Managing Forests Sustainably
FPAC members have all the forestlands they manage independently certified to one of three certification systems in use in Canada: Canadian Standards Association, the Forest Stewardship Council, or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards. Since 2002, third-party certification has been a condition of FPAC membership.
Globally, Canada accounts for over 42 percent of all certified forests, while FPAC members alone are responsible for 26 percent of all global certified forests. FPAC members are also working to enhance certification standards. Signing and implementing the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement in 2010 signalled a commitment to developing world-leading forest management practices.
Fighting Climate Change
FPAC members continue to work toward meeting their commitment to industry-wide carbon-neutrality by 2015. This will be achieved without the purchase of carbon offset credits. FPAC members are making substantial progress on climate change. Between 2007 and 2009, FPAC members increased their use of waste-based biomass from 58 percent to 68 percent of overall energy requirements. Since 1990, they have reduced their total greenhouse gas emissions by 73 percent.2 Between 2007 and 2009, members' pulp and paper facilities greenhouse gas emissions intensity (emissions per unit output) decreased to extend improvement relative to 1990 levels by a further 2 percent. This decrease came primarily from energy efficiency gains and from switching to biomass fuels.
2 These results have not been adjusted to reconcile differences in survey participation rates or mill closures.
Water quality and quantity are managed through two main approaches: protecting water resources through sustainable forest management and managing water use and quality at pulp and paper mills. Since 1996,3 significant gains have been made by FPAC members in reducing water use and in improving effluent water quality. Dioxins have been virtually eliminated through process changes in mills and effluents have been rendered non-toxic by the installation of biological effluent treatment systems. Over the same period, FPAC members have achieved and maintained significant reductions in oxygen-demanding substances and suspended solids — by 90 percent and 70 percent respectively.
Reducing Air Pollution
FPAC members have made substantial advancements in improving local air quality over the past decade. Recent emphasis has been on reducing sulphur that contributes to odour and on reducing particulate matter that reduces air quality. Between 2007 and 2009, FPAC members' pulp and paper mills reduced the amount of total reduced sulphur released per tonne of output by almost 15 percent. FPAC members' pulp and paper mills reduced the amount of total particulate matter released per tonne of output by 0.20 kilograms, or 27 percent, during the same period. In addition to ongoing management efforts and capital investments to reduce air emissions, FPAC members are participating in the Government of Canada's Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program as a way to make technological improvements in mills that will improve air quality.
Through increased innovation and targeted capital investments, FPAC members continue to integrate increasing amounts of recovered fibre into their supply chain. In 2003, FPAC members committed to reach a 55 percent recovery rate by 2012. By 2007, the Canadian paper recovery rate had already reached 58 percent. It rose to 66 percent by 2009, and today 82 percent of the paper made in Canada comes from recovered paper and sawmill residues. The industry has doubled the amount of recycled paper it produces. And it has reduced the amount of paper going to landfills by 40 percent. The key drivers behind Canada's ever-increasing paper recovery rate are steady demand for recycled products and increasing demand for recovered paper exports.