New Report Assesses Paper Industry’s Progress Toward Improving Forest Stewardship in Southern United States
The paper industry has an important role to play in the conservation and stewardship of the world's forests. Dogwood Alliance, a conservation organization working to protect the forests of the Southern U.S. from destructive logging practices, recently released a report assessing the forest management practices of top five paper producers in the U.S. South, which together account for over 50 percent of the U.S. paper manufacturing capacity. The report documents that International Paper, Domtar and Georgia-Pacific are leading the industry toward improved forestry practices, while other major players are continuing to lag behind.
Southern forests provide critical services such as water protection, wildlife habitat and carbon storage that can be significantly impaired by industrial logging. Over the past decade, in response to public concerns about the impacts of industrial logging on the forests of the U.S. South, large buyers of paper in the U.S. have adopted new forest protection policies, setting higher standards for forest conservation for their suppliers. These new policies have been a major catalyst behind new forest conservation initiatives by the region's major paper producers.
"Our goal with this report is to provide corporate and other consumers of paper with an independent and transparent assessment of the paper industry's progress toward best forestry practices so they can make good choices about their paper purchases," said Andrew Goldberg, director of Corporate Engagement at Dogwood Alliance. "What we found is that while three companies are making steady progress, other major paper producers have yet to truly step up. Not surprisingly, we also found that there is still room for continued improvement across the board."
The report released by Dogwood Alliance entitled, "Green Grades: Paper Industry Progress Report" is the first of its kind to assess the practices of the top five largest paper producers in the U.S. South against a rigorous set of forest conservation categories. The report details progress in the following five categories: endangered forest protection, stewardship and conservation funding, forest management certification, maintenance of natural forests, and forest carbon management.