The Fact: Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products
Paper is made from wood, a natural resource that is renewable and recyclable. These features, combined with the North American paper industry's advocacy of responsible forestry practices and certification, use of renewable biomass and advances in efficient papermaking technology, make paper one of the most sustainable products on earth.
- In North America, paper is recycled more than any other commodity and the benefits include: extending the wood fiber supply; reducing greenhouse gas emissions by avoiding methane emissions (released when paper decomposes in landfills or is incinerated); contributing to carbon sequestration; reducing energy needed for paper production; and saving landfill space.
– U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2015
- Globally, only about 10% of the world’s forests are certified – the majority of which are in North America. By sourcing certified products, from a variety of credible standards, buyers are sending a message that they support sound forestry and buy responsibly.
– Sustainable Forestry Initiative, 2013
- Paper is based on wood, a natural and renewable resource that can be planted, grown, harvested and replanted. Each year forests in the U.S. and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested.
– USDA Forest Service, 2012 & Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, 2014
- The paper industry has a number of respected certification schemes ensuring the paper you use has come from a sustainable forest source. These include the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program; the American Tree Farm System (ATFS); and systems endorsed by the international Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
– American Forest & Paper Association, 2014
- Most paper in North America is made from sawmill residues and recovered paper. Only 36% of the U.S. timber harvest is used each year in manufacturing paper and paperboard, and in Canada only 13%.
– Dovetail Partners, 2014 & Forest Products Association of Canada, 2012
Please refer to our Two Sides Fact Sheets for more information