Actor Ian Somerhalder in a public service announcement for #WhatsInYourPaper.
An alliance of more than 120 environmental and human rights organizations today announced a global push to transform the paper industry.
The Global Paper Vision sets a series of goals its says could drive the paper industry toward more sustainable practices. These include reducing consumption; maximizing recycled content; ensuring social responsibility; sourcing fibre responsibly; reducing greenhouse gas emissions; ensuring clean production; and ensuring transparency and integrity, according to the initiative.
“This blueprint for change addresses the priorities for social responsibility and environmental conservation in response to global paper consumption patterns and the industry’s influence on biodiversity, forest health, global warming, air and water quality and local communities,” said the Environmental Paper Network — which coordinated the effort — in a statement. “The new single Vision harmonizes several regional vision statements for industry reform around the world into a more co-ordinated effort to match the globalized supply chain for paper products and raw materials.”
Timber plantation in Indonesia, where pulp and paper production has been historically associated with large-scale deforestation.
Backers of the initiative range from small grassroots organizations to some of the world’s largest environmental NGO’s. The Environmental Paper Network says the diverse array of participants have a range of expertise in shifting forestry practices.
“The signatories of the Vision are known collectively for their successful efforts moving the marketplace to more sustainable products, bringing about forest governance reform, securing improved forestry practices by the world’s largest paper companies, and accelerating the transformation of the paper industry over the past decade.”
Global Paper Vision signatories
The launch is accompanied by a new international campaign that asks “What’s in your paper?” (#WhatsInYourPaper) to raise consumer awareness about the pitfalls of irresponsible paper production. Actor Ian Somerhalder of The Vampire Diaries and Lost fame has signed onto the campaign.
Paper consumption is expected to double before 2050, according to the Environmental Paper Network. Much of the world’s paper is still produced by cutting native forests and replacing them with industrial plantations. But there are emerging signs of change, including new sustainability commitments from producers who were once viewed as pariahs by the green community for destroying forests.