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Paper and Sustainable Forests: Some Great Facts to Note!

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Two Sides North America, Chicago, Ill., USA, this week published a round-up of some recent forestry-related news items confirming that forest products such as paper can be a key driver of sustainable forest management and play an important role in the retention of forest land for the long term.

Following are six of these forestry related news items:

1. Apple buys 36,000 acres of sustainable forests to help secure fiber for paper and packaging.

To help protect and further develop working forests, Apple has purchased 32,400 acres of forest in Maine and 3,600 acres in North Carolina. They manage the properties in partnership with the Conservation Fund and part of their goal is to secure a sustainable source of fiber for Apple’s paper and packaging needs.

2. Forest growth on privately-owned U.S. timberland exceeded harvest by 40% in six years.

The recent NAFO report on "U.S. Forest Inventory and Harvest Trends on Privately-Owned Timberlands" has some great stats and facts on the value and importance of our private forests in the U.S.

3. U.S. made paper comes mostly from private working forests that support 2.4 million jobs and $99 billion in payroll.

A second NAFO report on "The Economic Impact of Privately-Owned Forests in the United States" reports that public and private timberlands are responsible for employing 2.8 million people, who received payroll in the amount of $102 billion. Private timberland makes up 73% of the timberland base in 32 states, but it is responsible for more than 85% of the economic contribution.

4. By 2030, forestry mitigation options could contribute to reductions of 0.2 to 13.8 gigatonnes of CO2e per year.

OK that’s a lot of CO2! One gigatonne is equivalent to 1 billion metric tons. Sustainable forestry is clearly a great way to mitigate the effects of climate change on our planet. This is one of the key messages in a new United Nations-FAO report on "Forestry for a low-carbon future" that discusses in detail how we can integrate forests and wood products (such as paper) in climate change strategies.

5. Sustainably managed forests can remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than non-managed forests.

Maintaining our forest lands to take up carbon dioxide and store carbon is essential to mitigate climate change, but simply preserving them in their natural state may not be the best way forward. The video below by Natural Resources Canada called "Climate Change" explains the differences between natural and managed forests in terms of carbon uptake. It concludes that sustainably managed forests can have stable carbon stocks while at the same time providing resources to meet society’s needs.

6. U.S. wood fiber (used for paper and other forest products), procured by AF&PA member companies from certified sourcing programs rose to 98%.

Check out AF&PA’s latest sustainability report to see all of the great industry improvements related to sustainable forestry, recycling, and mill performance.


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