WWF urges India to pick the tick - Shift the paper consumption towards a sustainable and certified source

New Delhi: World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) India, in association with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has initiated a campaign to raise awareness about FSC Certified Paper to promote responsible purchasing and protect forests globally. The campaign aims to promote the production and consumption of FSC paper products in India by raising awareness of the environmental and social benefits of FSC certification and the problems caused by unsustainable forestry activity.

Global paper consumption has quadrupled in the last 50 years, with 10% of the world consuming over 50% of paper available. According to the Indian Paper Manufacturers Association, India's paper consumption has grown at a steady rate of 8% in the last five years and the consumption of paper is projected to rise by over 53% by 2020. Rising demand and wasteful consumption puts huge pressure on the world’s limited natural forests and the communities and biodiversity they support. Even with more frugal use and greater efficiencies, net demand is likely to grow. This challenge spans the whole supply chain, from where and how wood is grown and harvested to how wisely and efficiently it is processed, used and reused. FSC offers a framework for sustainability across this entire chain.

While India is one of the fastest-growing paper markets in the world, it has only eight FSC certified plantations across the country. A baseline survey conducted by WWF-India, in the early stages of the campaign indicated that there was not only a dearth of FSC products in the market for the individual consumer but there was also limited awareness about FSC and the benefits it has on the world’s forests. The story is, however, slightly different for business and industry. The Indian market does provide a wide range of products, varying from copier paper to packaging and other office consumables that are FSC certified. While large consumers like Mattel, Mango, Zara, Marks & Spencer, ITC, Unilever, Tetra Pak and Nokia make use of FSC packaging in some of their products, the business market still has a long way to go in adopting sustainable practices in terms of paper consumption. The campaign aims to reach out to companies to build awareness about FSC and help them switch to business cards, copier paper and packaging made from FSC-certified materials where further reductions in paper use are not yet feasible.

Philip Tapsall, Director - Sustainable Business, WWF India while talking about the initiative said, “Rising paper consumption is having a major impact on critically important environments - both in India and overseas.  The everyday consumer can play an important role in reversing this trend and we are urging people and companies to consider FSC-certified paper products both at home and in the office."

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) strives to promote environmentally appropriate forest management globally to ensure the harvest of timber and non-timber products maintains the forest's biodiversity, productivity, and ecological processes. FSC standards (certification and labeling of forest products) are recognized as the global benchmark for sustenance, ensuring the entire production process is tracked from the plantation of forest right through to the end product.

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Source: World Wide Fund for Nature, India

published date:January 12, 2015
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