The Science behind the Ancient Forest Friendly(TM) Brand
Canopy relies on a number of scientific processes and sources to develop the criteria for Ancient Forest Friendly Papers.
With regards to Ancient Forest Friendly virgin wood fibre, Canopy utilizes three comprehensive and complimentary science-based screens as part of its process to determine Ancient Forest Friendly wood fibre. The first is the High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) definition utilized by the Forest Stewardship Council(1) and the interpretation drafting of HCVF currently being conducted by World Wildlife Fund Canada and endorsed by the Forest Products Association of Canada. HCVF assessments do not however capture all of the ecological qualities that inform endangered forest definitions. Hence Canopy utilizes the Wye Group's endangered forest definition(2) as well as data from the World Resources Institute and Global Forest Watch Canada's Large Intact Forest Landscapes Mapping Project(3) to form the criteria of Ancient Forest Friendly virgin wood fibre.
Ancient Forest Friendly Papers can be a blend of virgin wood fibre and recycled and agricultural fibres. To meet the criteria for an Ancient Forest Friendly designation, 100% of the paper fibre must have ecological attributes and the paper must be manufactured with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled fibre. There is a significant body of scientific work that details the ecological benefits of utilizing recycled fibre in lieu of virgin wood fibre - including water and energy conservation, reduction of greenhouse gases, volatile compounds, and preventing the degradation of forest ecosystems and the loss of forest dependant biodiversity.
The commercial use of agricultural residue fibre is an emerging field in North America. Recent studies(4) confirm that some agricultural residues have half the ecological footprint of using virgin wood fibre pulps from the same region in Canada.
1. High Conservation Value Forests (HCVF) are defined by the Forest Stewardship Council as forests of outstanding and critical importance due to their high environmental, socio-economic biodiversity or landscape values, according to six HCV categories:
- a. Forest areas containing globally, nationally or regionally significant concentrations of biodiversity values;
- b. Forest areas containing globally, regionally or nationally significant large landscape level forests;
- c. Forest areas that are in or contain rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems;
- d. Forest areas that provide basic services of nature in critical situations;
- e. Forest areas fundamental to meeting basic needs of local communities;
- f. Forest areas critical to local communities' traditional cultural identity.
2. The Wye Group report on the Ecological Components of Endangered Forests has been reviewed by conservation groups, corporations, and scientists such as Dr. Jim Stritholtt, President and Executive Director of the Conservation Biology Institute, and has been adopted by corporations in their policies such as JPMorgan Chase. The ecological components of endangered forests are:
- 1) Intact forest landscapes;
- 2) Remnant forests and restoration cores;
- 3) Landscape connectivity;
- 4) Rare forest types (composition and structure);
- 5) Forests of high species richness (alpha and beta diversity);
- 6) Forests containing high concentrations of rare and endangered species;
- 7) Forests of high endemism;
- 8) Core habitat for focal species (aquatic and terrestrial);
- 9) Forests exhibiting rare ecological and evolutionary phenomena.
Download the Wye Group Report PDF (48 KB)
3. The World Resource Institute's Global Forest Watch Canada's Large Intact Forest Landscapes mapping project is a multi-year endeavour supported by conservation groups, corporations such as Bank of America, industry associations such as the Forest Products Association of Canada, and scientists such as affiliated with Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. The World Resources Institute cites 'ancient forests' as old-growth forests.
4. Kissinger et al., Wood and non-wood pulp production: Comparative ecological Footprinting on the Canadian prairies, Ecological Economics (2006), doi: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2006.07.019