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Forest industry recognized internationally

June 16, 2013 – The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) is pointing to the Canadian industry's environmental credentials in its 2013 Sustainability

The global forum notes that the forest sector in Canada has more than 150 million hectares of independently certified forest, or 40 per cent of the global total; that between 2007 to 2011 it dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21 per cent; that energy use went down by 32 per cent between 2005 to 2011; and that in that same time period, the sector reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill by 30 per cent, slashed particulate matter and sodium oxide by 56 per cent and total suspended solids by 72 per cent.

The progress report also noted that the Canadian forest industry has pledged to be carbon neutral industry-wide by 2015 and that it is working with environmentalists under the landmark Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, the world's largest conservation deal.

"We welcome the acknowledgement that Canada's forest sector has a positive environmental record that continues to improve," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay. "We do not intend to rest on our laurels but under our Vision2020, we are aiming to further reduce our environmental footprint by an additional 35 per cent by the end of the decade.

The ICFPA also noted that the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is one of the global players that is developing strategies to help the sector transition towards the green economy with initiatives such as the Bio-Pathways Partnership Network.

Canada's vision for making innovative products from wood fibre using nano-science was acknowledged in the report as well. For example, it noted that FPInnovations brought in the world's first state-of-the-art demonstration plant that produced nano-crystalline cellulose from wood fibre for use in everything from bone replacement to cosmetics.

"Canadian mills are continuing to look at pioneering ways to extract more value from every tree in the form of innovative bio-products," says Lindsay. "It's rewarding to see this international forum recognize our growing contribution to the green economy."

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $57-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2 per cent of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 230,000 direct jobs across the country.

For the full ICFPA report visit, icfpa.org.

Photo credit: Scott Jamieson/woodbusiness.ca