A Land Grab for Pulp – a report on Portucel Mozambique


Our latest discussion document explores the plan by The Navigator Company to develop a new pulp mill in Mozambique. The Portuguese company, operating as Portucel Mozambique and with funding from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, is acquiring huge areas of land for establishing eucalyptus tree plantations to supply the mill. Local NGOs monitoring the impacts of this land acquisition are deeply concerned about the impacts on local livelihoods and on biodiversity.

The report explains exactly where the land grab is taking place and includes testimony from farmers who have lost the land they depend upon for subsistence in exchange for short-term work or inferior land in remote places. The report casts doubt on whether Free, Prior and Informed Consent was granted the company in its rush to establish pulp plantations. The report also analyses the environmental risks and impacts of the project, which will convert biodiverse miombo woodland habitat to monoculture plantation.

We welcome discussion and feedback on the report and hope that potential investors and other stakeholders in the project will read it and demand robust solutions to the problems it raises.

The document is available in English here: http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/171117-Discussion-Document-Portucel-Report-2017-English.pdf

and in Portuguese here: http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/171117-Discussion-Document-Portucel-Report-2017-Portuguese.pdf

A press release about the report launch is here: http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/171117-EPN-media-release-Portucel.pdf

Please contact us with any comments.

NGOs send a letter to Asia Pulp & Paper


A group of nearly 60 Indonesian and international NGOs sent a letter to APP director, Linda Wijaya, to express their concern regarding a new possible supplier, PT. Bangun Rimba Sejahtera (PT BRS). According to a recent NGO report, the company has a concession laying up to 85% on land used by local communities for their livelihoods.

The report suggests that 100,000 people in West Bangka Regency could be affected by PT BRS operations, and that 21 villages (the majority of the affected villages) have expressed their opposition to the presence of PT BRS. The report finds that PT BRS has failed to undertake a credible Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process.

The concession, in order to be viable, must use lands claimed and used by local communities, consequently risks further igniting social unrest, undermining local livelihoods and creating serious land conflict. The NGOs ask APP not to choose PT BRS as supplier.

Please, find the letter here


A new threat for Russian boreal forests

Major western European and American companies are connected to logging companies expanding their operations into one of the largest tracts of undisturbed primary forest in Arkhangelsk Oblast of northwest Russia, a Greenpeace report reveals.

The report Eye on the Taiga: How industry’s claimed ‘sustainable forestry’ in Russia is destroying the Great Northern Forestshows that three-quarters of the proposed Dvinsky Forest Reserve is licensed to three major logging companies. It lists the names of companies, some of which are household names that are buying from mills linked to these logging companies.


Companies highlighted in the report, such as Swedish owned paper manufacturer Arctic Paper, tissue company SCA, the paper giant Stora Enso, and Irish packaging producer Smurfit Kappa, have a unique opportunity to help save this last remaining intact forest.  In addition, companies such as Auchan, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and McDonald’s – also highlighted in the report as linked with this case – can influence their suppliers to support the protection of the Dvinsky Forest. Three main companies involved in the trade of the wood of the Dvinsky Forest are Pomor Timber, Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill and Titan Group

In 2011, regional authorities planned to establish the Dvinsky Forest Reserve. This proposed reserve covers almost two-thirds of one of the largest remaining Intact Forest Landscapes, covering 835,000 hectares of critical habitat for a number of threatened species in Arkhangelsk Oblast in northwestern Russia.

Anton Beneslavsky, of Greenpeace Russia, said: “Since 2000, the Dvinsky forest has lost 300,000 hectares – an area larger than Luxembourg – of unique intact forest landscape. This critically important and beautiful forest is ending up as saunas and tissue products and packaging that can be found in stores and homes all over the world.”

Between 2000 and 2013 the rate of loss of Intact Forest Landscapes in the Great Northern Forest [3] was around 2.5 million hectares per year. Russia accounts for over half of this loss.Logging continues despite Russia promising to deliver its part on achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.  Target 5requires by 2020 a minimum 50% reduction in the rate of loss of primary forests and other high biodiversity value habitats; where feasible, this loss should be brought close to zero.

“Russia has declared 2017 as the Year of the Protected Area. It has been already years since the Dvinsky Forest Reserve was first earmarked for protection by the Arkhangelsk authorities” said Beneslavsky.

“If the government is serious about establishing new protected areas this year, it should start walking the talk by fully protecting this forest without further delay. Failing to act is not an option.”

Greenpeace has written to companies named in the report highlighting the fate of the Dvinsky Forest, and has called on them to join in the efforts to save this magnificent forest and other critical regions of the Great Northern Forest. The companies are encouraged to phase out any suppliers involved in the destruction of these valuable forest areas.

Red Lines for Pulp Mill Finance


The Environmental Paper Network* (EPN), and BankTrack** today published a short document, Green Paper, Red Lines,  setting out minimum requirements for the pulp and paper industry to avoid harming people and the environment. This document urges banks and investors who consider financially supporting pulp and paper companies to thoroughly check whether these companies are on the right side of these ‘red lines’.

The ‘red lines’, listed in the document, are the absolute minimum requirements for pulp and paper mills, and cover regulatory, social, environmental and corporate issues. Unless pulp and paper mills fulfil these requirements, they are likely to cause unacceptable social and environmental harm.

The standards are absolute minimum requirements. Companies that achieve these standards are not automatically deemed to be operating in a sustainable manner. However, if companies, and financiers providing support to them, cross these red lines, they are highly likely to be the target of campaigns by civil society organisations.

EPN and BankTrack therefore expect financiers to stay clear if their client pulp and paper companies are unable to meet the minimum requirements.

Mandy Haggith, co-ordinator of the Environmental Paper Network’s pulp finance working group, said: “We want banks and other investors to be our allies in helping to transform the pulp and paper industry towards our Global Paper Vision, by focusing finance only where the industry is sustainable. We hope these red lines will be used by banks to avoid projects and companies with a high level of reputational risk due to their negative environmental and social impacts.”

Karen Vermeer, forest and Equator Principles campaigner at BankTrack, said: “We will use the red lines of this document to check the forest policies of private sector banks, and push for more sustainable policies where necessary.”

* EPN is a network of more than 140 non-governmental organisations globally, focussing on pulp and paper sustainability issues across the global supply chain and paper’s life cycle.

** BankTrack is the international tracking, campaigning and NGO support organisation focused on private sector commercial banks and the activities they finance.



New film: The Future of Paper


A new film expressing a vision for the future of paper was launched by civil society today in advance of Paper World, the paper industry gathering in Frankfurt, Germany. The film argues that as a global society we need to look at this everyday material with new eyes, and transform the way we use it to achieve a more equitable and sustainable future.

Mandy Haggith of the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) said, “We hope that everyone who watches the Future of Paper will value it a bit more and think again about wasteful paper use. Everyone in Europe, North America and China uses paper numerous times every day and yet we mostly take it for granted. This film will help people to make the connection between their own daily consumption and the impacts it has on forests, people, the global climate and water.”

Peter Gerhardt of German NGO denkhausbremen, said, “Current paper consumption in industrialised countries must be reduced dramatically in order to lower the pressure on forests and forest people, who suffer from the impacts of the pulp and paper industry around the world.”

Richard Wainwright of FERN, said “This film urges paper companies to rise to the realistic and achievable challenge of ensuring paper production is never to the detriment of local communities who depend on the forests for their survival.”

The film is the outcome of an international process over the past year, in which more than 140 organisations around the world have endorsed a shared Global Paper Vision. This vision describes a future in which the pulp and paper industry and all governments, financiers and consumer companies associated with the industry, have transformed to achieve sustainable production and consumption.

The film can also be watched on the Youtube Channel of the Environmental Paper Network here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7e9yEc7FUs

For more information contact:

Mandy Haggith on +44 1571 844020 or +44 7734235704 or hag@environmentalpaper.eu


Discussion continues on paper vapour – the carbon footprint of paper


In July 2013, the EEPN published a commissioned discussion paper analysing the carbon footprint of the full lifecycle of paper. It can be found here. There is still time to comment on this paper, and feedback is welcome on it until 31 August 2013.

The paper indicates that if the full impacts of production, use and disposal are taken into account, paper is potentially responsible for more carbon emissions than global aviation. We call these emissions ‘paper vapour’. The EEPN is encouraging comment and discussion on this issue. Please send comments to papervapour@environmentalpaper.org

You can find out more about paper vapour here.

New publication: paper efficiency scorecard


On 9 July 2013, the EEPN has published the results of our assessment of 60 UK organisations’ paper efficiency (media release below).  Read the results in our Paper Efficiency Scorecard.

New scorecard reveals need for action on paper efficiency

NGOs challenge all sectors to improve paper efficiency to reduce carbon footprint

A Paper Efficiency Scorecard (1), published by the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) (2) at its ‘Paper Vapour’ event in London today, shows that whilst some UK organisations are making commendable efforts to use paper more efficiently, most of those surveyed need to do much more to address wasteful paper use. New analysis (3), commissioned by the EEPN, of the data available on the carbon footprint of paper, also published today, found that paper contributes more to climate change than previously thought and potentially more than global aviation. The EEPN calls these emissions ‘paper vapour’. It is challenging all sectors to value paper more highly as a resource and to reduce their paper consumption and suggests that particular attention is given to wasteful uses of paper such as ‘throw away’ and ‘disposable’ products, in order to reduce their significant climate impact. Co-ordinator of the EEPN and its ‘Shrink Paper’ project, Mandy Haggith, said: “We all know flying causes significant climate impacts, yet this latest analysis finds that paper’s footprint is actually larger.It has such a significant carbon footprint that paper efficiency should be a central part of any organisation’s climate change policies and action plans.” The Paper Efficiency Scorecard ranks the paper efficiency efforts of 60 of the UK’s largest organisations. It found that some organisations, most notably Marks and Spencer, the Scottish Parliament,The Co-operative Group, Sainsbury’s, the Welsh Government and the Highland Council, have made commendable efforts to improve their paper efficiency. However, many others are not yet addressing how to cut their paper use. The two worst performing sectors were catalogue retailers and utilities. “We applaud those high-flying organisations that are making a genuine effort to use paper more wisely and hope that those in which the concept is yet to hatch will now grasp the full benefits of paper efficiency. By reducing wasteful paper use, organisations around the world can significantly reduce their carbon footprints, as well as their financial costs,” said Haggith. Notes to Editors:

(1) For the Paper Efficiency Scorecard, see http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/paper-efficiency-scorecard-final.pdf

(2) The European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) is a coalition of 70 non-governmental organisations. For a list of member organisations see: http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/our-network/our-member-organisations/

(3) For the discussion paper ‘Paper Vapour: the Climate Impact of the Paper Industry’ see http://www.environmentalpaper.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/paper-vapour-discussion-paper-c.pdf

Contact: Mandy Haggith, Co-ordinator of the EEPN and its ‘Shrink Paper’ project on 07734235 704 Matilda Bradshaw, Communications Manager, ‘Shrink Paper’ project on 07775828634

Paper Vapour event


On Tuesday 9 July 2013, the European Environmental Paper Network (EEPN) launched the results of our assessment of the paper efficiency efforts by 60 UK organisations – here.

We also launched a discussion paper about ‘paper vapour’, the climate change impacts of paper production, use and disposal – here.

These publication launches coincide with an EEPN event, held in London, to clarify why paper efficiency needs to be part of every large organisation’s climate change strategy.