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Two Sides releases facts on Canadian paper industry’s environmental impact


January 17, 2020
By P&PC Staff

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Two Sides North America has released a fact sheet on Canada's paper industry and the environment. Photo: Two SidesTwo Sides North America has released a fact sheet on Canada's paper industry and the environment. Photo: Two Sides

Two Sides North America has released a new fact sheet addressing environmental claims about the Canadian pulp and paper industry.

The paper advocacy group compiled “Environmental Facts About the Canadian Paper Industry” in response to a 2019 Canadian consumer survey by Toluna and Two Sides North America that showed Canadians ranked pulp and paper as the third cause of global deforestation.

The fact sheet, which is available for co-branding by Two Sides members, outlines key facts related to Canada, such as the state of the forest, forest management and certification, recycling, environmental performance and goals.

Some highlights include:

  • Canada is home to nine per cent of the world’s forests, almost 4 billion hectares, behind only Russia (20 per cent) and Brazil (12 per cent) in forest area.
  • About 90 per cent of Canada’s forest land is publicly owned and provincial and territorial governments regulate forest harvesting to ensure sustainability over the long term. Canadian law requires that all forests harvested on public land must be regenerated.
  • Deforestation due to pulp and paper is not a cause of forest loss in Canada. The area deforested in Canada in 2016 was 37,000 ha (0.01 per cent of forested land in Canada) and this rate is expected to be stable over the near term.
  • Conversion of forests to agricultural land is the major cause of deforestation, followed by mining, oil and gas exploration, hydroelectric development and urban expansion.
  • Investment in new technologies is making forest industry operations more efficient. By generating bioenergy from waste products and increasing energy efficiency, Canada’s forest industry cut its total energy use by 31 per cent and reduced its GHG emissions by 49 per cent between 2005 and 2015.

“Our 2019 North American consumer survey shows that there is a need for more public education on the topic of sustainable forest management, the real causes of deforestation and the great recycling story of print and paper,” says Phil Riebel, president of Two Sides North America.

“Once people understand the unique sustainable features of paper-based products, such as the high rate of recycling and the renewable aspect and benefits of well-managed forests – their views of forest products become much more positive.”