Papermaking consumes an estimated 200 million tons of wood products a year. And despite predictions of a brave new paperless world, the use of paper is increasing. Although many of the trees harvested to meet this rising demand come from North America, pulp and paper companies are increasingly tapping resources in tropical countries, putting enormous pressure on remaining natural forests
and their biodiversity.
To make the industry a more positive force for conservation, CI has teamed up with Office Depot, the world’s largest paper retailer; The Nature Conservancy; and NatureServe. The five-year, $2.2 million initiative grew out of concerns by the conservation community and by Office Depot about threats to forest species
and habitats from unsustainable logging
operations. Called the Forest and Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (FBCA), the partnership will help companies incorporate science and conservation criteria into their sourcing and forest management decisions.
“The three conservation groups together provide the kind of international coverage necessary for Office Depot to look at all their paper sourcing, from boreal, temperate, and tropical regions,” says Justin Ward, a senior director at the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at CI.
FBCA initiatives include projects to help forest owners and managers identify and conserve key biodiversity areas in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest
, and manage imperiled forest species in the southeastern United States. The alliance will work with Office Depot to ensure that the paper it buys is not derived from biologically diverse, rare, and vulnerable forests; from illegal logging; or from unsustainably managed forests.