March 21 is International Day of Forests – a observance created by the UN to honour the vital role that forests play in making life on earth livable.
At Canopy, every day is a day of forests. Our focus is on systems change and ending sourcing from the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests – which are some of the most ecologically valuable ecosystems on the planet. Today we join with our partner brands to bring the importance of the world’s forests into sharp focus. Clean water, fresh air, a stable climate – these are all gifts given freely by forests and ones we can’t afford to overlook.
This year, in these uncertain times, one thing we are confident about is our vision for a bright future for forests. From the launch of our action plan to accelerate the commercial production of Next Generation Solutions called SURVIVAL: A Pulp Thriller, to the CanopyStyle Next Generation Vision for Viscose, to the much-expanded EcoPaper Database, it’s clear that we have the solutions, and we know the roadmap to implement them. We know that transforming ideas, habits, and supply chains will lead to forest conservation on the ground, now it’s time to speed their implementation.
What are Next Generation Solutions? Here are some examples:
- Pulp for paper and packaging made from agricultural residues that would otherwise be burned, or from on-purpose crops that fix nutrients and carbon into degraded soil;
- Viscose/rayon fibre for clothing made from microbial cellulose, which is grown on fermented food waste;
- Viscose/rayon made by pulping old cotton or viscose garments that can be processed into new thread rather than using wood to make cellulosic pulp;
- A redesign of shipping boxes to make them re-usable;
- Rethinking product marketing to dramatically reduce, or eliminate the need for packaging, or to capture the value of re-used products.
Next Generation Solutions challenge the idea that pulp, paper, packaging, and viscose textiles are FOREST products because these solutions keep trees standing by using new or already existing alternative technologies. It’s time to expand the idea of these products to be fibre products, and accelerate their uptake. This forward-thinking will allow the world to diversify the ‘fibre basket’ to stay relevant with market demand, and to ensure the stable supply of paper, packaging and clothing our societies need amid a mounting and much-needed pressure to conserve forests.
The next ten years must be the “turn-around” decade for our climate and wildlife. Will we continue forward, blind as bats, when it comes to degrading our natural world? Or
will we listen to the science and have 2020 vision to safeguard 30 – 50% of the world’s forests by 2030? We know the future we’d like to see.
Forest Facts from the UN and International Day of Forests:
- Forests are home to about 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.
- Forests and woodlands are made up of over 60,000 tree species.
- More than a billion people depend directly on forests for food, shelter, energy and income.
- Deforestation and forest degradation continue at an alarming rate – 13 million hectares of forest are deforested annually, and this accounts for 12 to 20 percent of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.