Forests are an integral part of global, sustainable development. To celebrate people's actions to sustainably manage the world's forests and to raise awareness of sustainable management and development in forests, the United Nations has declared an "International Year of Forests" for 2011. Only last year, a scientific study showed that the use of cartons and the manufacture of cartonboard in Europe encourages sustainable forest management and carbon sequestration in the forest, and that this can be directly related to carbon footprinting of cartons.
Forests cover 31 per cent world’s surface area and store over a billion tonnes of carbon – twice the amount present in the atmosphere. Forests are an important driver for economic growth and jobs – also in Europe.
Forests are not merely suppliers of wood, they function as an ecological system which provides an array of services: the filtering of ground water, removal of pollutants and sediment from surface water, supporting water cycles and binding CO₂ from the atmosphere. Furthermore, forests help to avoid soil erosion and flooding. They provide a natural habitat for many different species of animals and plants and thus help to promote biodiversity. Forests provide a balance between oxygen, carbon dioxide and humidity in the air, they protect water reserves and thus our potable water.
During the last decades, the European cartonboard and carton industry has become a major factor in the protection of forests. Approx. 80 % of the wood used for manufacturing paper and carton in Europe comes from European forests, the rest from outside Europe. Tropical woods from rain forests are not used.
European forests utilised by the paper and cartonboard industry are subject to sustainable forestry. Each year more forest is planted than removed – a surface area equal to 1.5 million soccer fields. International certificates such as the PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) confirm that forests comply with the highest environmental standards. Each stage of wood processing can be traced with a “Chain of Custody“-certificate.
Wood and cartonboard also play a significant role in minimising the climate change. In their growth phase trees absorb carbon dioxide. Wood fibre from forests used to manufacture cartonboard store carbon in the finished product – the cartonboard. Recycling of cartons retains the carbon dioxide and prevents its re-entry into the atmosphere.
This way cartonboard and cartons are actively involved in forestry and environmental protection.
Information Suzanne McEwen +43 1 218 6918 firstname.lastname@example.org