Sustainable fibre

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target zero net deforestation and degradation globally. We are committed to zero deforestation and no illegal logging; we address these issues through our risk-based approach. We source our wood and pulp only from responsible sources and go beyond legal compliance to address social and environmental requirements.

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Why is this important to our stakeholders? +
Why is this important to Mondi? +
Our commitments & performance +
sust_fibre_2019.jpg (1) Tackling issues beyond certification in high-risk countries +
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  • Global demand for wood fibre may rise significantly by 2050 as a result of the growing trend towards promoting forests as a renewable resource for sustainable solutions
  • Deforestation and illegal logging lead to biodiversity loss and climate crisis, undermining crucial ecosystem services and impacting on local communities and livelihoods
  • More than 7.5 million hectares of forests are permanently lost every year due to deforestation, contributing an estimated 15% of global GHG emissions
  • Consumers and our customers are driving demand for responsible products and transparency across the wood fibre supply chain
  • Forests are core to the cultures and livelihoods of communities worldwide: some 300 million people live in them and more than one billion directly depend on them
  • Wood is one of our primary raw materials; our operations and natural ecosystems are inextricably linked
  • We have a clear business imperative to secure sustainable wood fibre in a fair and transparent way
  • Renewable raw materials play a key role in supporting the circular bioeconomy to benefit people, nature and our climate
  • Managing forests sustainably helps to protect against deforestation and secures their long-term value

Our commitments

  • Procure at least 70% of our wood from FSCTM- or PEFC-certified sources1 with the balance meeting our company minimum wood standard that complies with FSC’s requirements for Controlled Wood
  • Maintain FSC certification for 100% of our owned and leased forest lands and promote sustainable forest management

Our performance

  • 72% of wood and 99% of pulp sourced from certified sources
  • All Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certifications with Controlled Wood (CW) requirement were maintained
  • 100% of owned and leased forest lands remain certified

1) The Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (https://www.fsc.org/) and The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (https://www.pefc.org/)

In focus Tackling issues beyond certification in high-risk countries

For countries deemed to be high risk, FSC is our preferred certification system due to the requirements of the Due Diligence management System (DDMS). Local sourcing is a priority so, despite Russia and Bulgaria being assessed to be high-risk, we source a significant amount of local wood fibre for our pulp and paper mills there. In both countries, we also accept wood compliant with FSC Controlled Wood requirements given our strong local knowledge and expertise. We purchase comparatively minor volumes of wood from high-risk countries where we do not have our own operations, including wood chips from Ukraine and market pulp from Brazil.

We work in partnership with FSC and stakeholders in these countries to address the risks in the wood supply chain and to increase the availability of credibly certified fibre. Learn about specific actions we take in the high-risk countries to address emerging issues going beyond the framework of forest certification requirements.

Examples of activities in high-risk countries, where actions beyond certification requirements have been taken to tackle the most critical issues (by Country and its share in supply )

Russia (wood):
~21.2% of total volume
In Russia the issue was related to FSC’s ability to ensure protection of the Intact Forest Landscapes (IFL), which was the main reason for criticism from Greenpeace. To secure IFLs protection in Mondi’s wood sourcing areas in 2018 we signed the precedent-setting landscape-level agreement with WWF Russia and Silver Taiga. It defined clear boundaries and protection regimes for all intact forest landscapes (IFLs) in the Komi Republic and adjacent areas of the neighbouring regions.

In December 2019, after more than a decade of Mondi support, Silver Taiga Foundation achieved the establishment of the Koigorodsky National Park. In contrast to the Intact Forest Landscape (IFLs) located further north, the park incorporates the last remaining IFL in the southern part of the region. We continue work on the field verification of High Conservation Values (HCV) for the IFLs in the northern part of Komi Republic.

There was also another noticeable occasion in north-western Russia, which was not relevant to Mondi’s wood sourcing areas, but was most important for FSC’s credibility in general. In October 2019, stakeholders in the Arkhangelsk region reached a compromise and the regional authorities announced the establishment of a protected area within the Dvinsko-Pinezhsky IFL , which was of the most concern from Greenpeace and other NGOs.

Bulgaria (wood):
~2.6% of total volume
In Bulgaria the main issue was related to a limited availability of certified forests. Since 2014 we have been supporting WWF Bulgaria to develop FSC certification. This has entailed developing an inventory to monitor old-growth forests and other High Conservation Value (HCV) areas, as well as training hundreds of state forest managers. This programme has catalysed rapid development of forest certification in State Forests, with a significant portion of certified forests in the vicinity of our Mondi Stambolijski mill. We expect that the total area of certified forests in Bulgaria will double by the end of 2020 compared with 2017, when only around 1.2 million ha - less than a third of the total forest area – was certified.

Ukraine (wood):
~0.1% of total volume
In Ukraine the issue was related to FSC’s ability to ensure legal compliance of wood fibre sources. In 2017, media coverage highlighted issues around the legal compliance of wood exported from Ukraine to other EU countries. We commissioned an independent legal review to assess and verify the legal compliance of Mondi’s wood purchased from Ukraine (see the case study in our 2018 report ). We committed to undertake additional measures to ensure the legality of the wood we source in the Ukraine. In 2019, we participated in a seminar led by FSC Ukraine which aimed to develop a risk-based approached to certification. We also conducted a number of independent field reviews in state forest enterprises to test a new tool supporting a risk-based approach and pre-audit risks screening. Finally, we arranged a joint problem-solving seminar with FSC Ukraine, certification bodies, State forest enterprises and the State Forest Agency to define an effective response.

Brazil (pulp):
~0.3% of total volume
In Brazil the issue was related to the fact, that it is one of the main global deforestation fronts. While we do not source wood from countries with deforestation issues, we do source a small amount of market pulp originating from Brazil. These supplies originate from FSC-certified plantations.
We support the development of sustainable plantation forestry beyond FSC certification requirements through multi-stakeholder platforms like WWF’s New Generation Plantations (NGP) and The Forest Dialogue (TFD), aiming at developing sustainable plantation forestry ensuring proper consideration of environmental and social aspects. In 2018 TFD and NGP hosted an international field dialogue on Tree Plantations in the Landscape (TPL) in Brazil reviewing progress made there since the first dialogue in 2008. In 2018, NGP together with IUFRO established a working group focused on reviewing effectiveness of biodiversity conservation measures in plantation forestry considering growing importance of sustainable forest plantations for the future bio-economy .
We also help to combat the global challenges of deforestation and forest degradation at a systemic level. We support the High Conservation Value Resource Network (HCV RN) to promote the HCV principle in non-forest commodities, such as rubber, cotton, palm oil. We also provide input into the regulatory frameworks, such as Accountability Framework Initiative and the EU Action Plan against deforestation and forest degradation.

Related case studies

Resilient working forest landscapes to produce virgin fibre
Why we need both virgin and recycled fibre
Leveraging the full value of virgin fibre
Collaborative approach to implement Controlled Wood in Slovakia

  • Target 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources
  • Target 15.2 By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally
  • Target 15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species