fibre supply chain
We promote best practice in sustainable forestry management to help tackle the climate crisis. We consider social and environmental issues spanning the wood fibre supply chain. Our risk-based approach supports us to source wood and pulp from responsible sources. We are firmly committed to zero deforestation and no illegal logging.
Deforestation and illegal logging are ongoing issues which impact biodiversity and contribute around 12% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.(1) Demand for wood fibre as a renewable material is growing(2) and wood is one of our primary raw materials. Sustainable management of forests is crucial to secure their long-term value, halt deforestation and combat climate change.
Being transparent about our wood and pulp sourcing
We use wood fibre from responsibly managed forests to make our packaging and paper products. Wood fibre is a sustainable, renewable resource and we work with recognised credible certification and verification bodies to provide assurance that our wood and pulp is sourced responsibly and transparently. It is our clear business imperative, with consumers and customers driving demand for sustainable products.
The majority of the wood we source is roundwood and wood chips. Around one-quarter originates in our own managed forests in Russia and South Africa. We purchase the rest from external suppliers, mainly in central Europe. We also buy a small proportion of our wood fibre in the form of market pulp.
We maintained 100% compliance with FSC™, PEFC or FSC™ CW standards for all pulp and wood in 2020, ensuring the integrity and traceability of our fibre supply chain. We upheld 100% FSC™ certification for imports from high-risk countries and for our own forestry landholdings (excluding newly leased areas).
In 2020, we received approval to lease an additional 229,000 ha of forestry landholdings in Russia. 38,000 ha of this land was FSC™- and PEFC-certified in 2020, 131,000 ha will be certified in 2021 and the remainder will be certified in 2022, once forest management plans have been put in place.
Applying a risk-based approach to sourcing wood and pulp
The main threat to forests globally is their permanent loss at scale. The world’s largest deforestation fronts are found predominantly in South America, south east Asia and central Africa.(3) Our primary wood sourcing regions are in South Africa, north west Russia and Europe. Sourcing wood fibre in line with our DDMS supports us to ensure a deforestation-free supply chain.
We are committed to zero deforestation and no use of illegal or controversial wood fibre sources. We do not use tropical tree species, species listed by the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species (CITES) or the Red List of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). We also do not use wood from genetically modified (GM) trees. Beyond our direct supply chain, we support multi-stakeholder platforms to address the root causes of deforestation. We believe a key part of the solution to preventing deforestation is ensuring the long-term sustainable management of existing forests by securing their resilience and functionality as forests, while protecting areas of high value for biodiversity and ecosystems, livelihoods and communities.
We work in partnership with a broad range of stakeholders to address legality and sustainability risks in the wood fibre supply chain and to increase the availability and credibility of certified wood fibre.
What’s our impact?
We have maintained 100% of our own forestry landholdings as Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM)-certified and 100% of procured wood fibre compliant with the FSC Controlled Wood standards. While our overall wood volumes have grown by almost 10% since 2015, the share of PEFC- or FSC-certified wood has increased from 66% to 76% in 2020. Certified pulp increased from 81% in 2015 to 94% in 2020. In 2020, we saw an unusually high percentage of certified wood procured due to temporary increases in availability in our domestic markets.
As our approach has matured, we’ve moved from local due diligence systems based on our own company risk assessments to using independent national risk assessments, which underpin FSC Controlled Wood as our minimum requirement. Our Due Diligence Management System (DDMS) is focused on country-level risk to ensure legal compliance and mitigate sustainability issues.
We have continued to support international efforts to combat deforestation and forest degradation, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere where the risk is concentrated. This included our work with WWF’s New Generation Plantations (NGP) platform and the promotion of the high conservation value (HCV) principles and the Sustainable Working Forest concept.
In collaboration with WWF, FSC and local experts, we have helped make certification more accessible and fit-for-purpose in higher risk countries. As an international stakeholder member of PEFC, we have continued to support the development of the PEFC certification scheme.
Our MAP2030 commitment is to maintain zero deforestation in our wood fibre supply, sourcing from healthy and resilient forests. We have set targets for 2025 to ensure 100% FSC certification in our managed forests and 100% responsibly sourced fibre with 75% FSC or PEFC-certified, and the remainder being controlled wood as a minimum. We will also continue to develop and implement leading forestry practices in our own landholdings and beyond.
(1) European Commission, Climate Action, Deforestation and REDD+, https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/forests/deforestation_en
(2) WWF (2013), Living Forests Report: chapter 4, forests and wood products, https://www.worldwildlife.org/publications/wwf-s-living-forest-report
(3) WWF (2020), Deforestation fronts: drivers and responses in a changing world, https://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/deforestation-fronts