The Pathway to Next-Generation Solutions
To protect people, species and our global climate, we need to conserve 50% of the world’s remaining forest ecosystems. This includes ecologically valuable Intact Forest Landscapes and forests with high carbon stocks. This seemingly Herculean task is possible if we scale the rapid adoption of Next Generation Solutions into our modes of consumption and production.
Currently, three billion trees are logged each year for packaging alone, many of them from Ancient and Endangered Forests. Demand for forest products like packaging and rayon/viscose is still growing. This means more deforestation, forest degradation, species extinctions and massive carbon loss. If we want to reduce pressure on nature and meet global climate and biodiversity targets it’s imperative that we address how we use forest products.
To do this we can utilize new thinking, design, fibres and technologies that are more circular in nature, to reduce overall consumption, eliminate single-use packaging and move towards clothes and products that will last a lifetime, not a season.
Canopy is working directly with companies that use forest products and with technology, process and design innovators to take Next Gen Solutions out of the far corners of the market and into the mainstream.
Next Gen Solutions encompasses product redesign, and systems (e.g. logistics) and technologies that:
- Enable radical reduction in the use of raw resources;
- Optimize the efficient use of materials;
- Enable greater product reuse and;
- Shift from conventional feedstock of wood fibre to alternative, less damaging or regenerative feedstocks for manufacturing paper and MMCF textiles.
What are Next Generation Solutions?
Next generation Solutions include:
- 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.
- Rayon/viscose made by pulping used cotton garments that can be processed into new thread rather than using virgin wood to make cellulosic pulp.
- A redesign of shipping boxes to make them reusable.
- Rethinking product marketing to dramatically reduce or eliminate the need for packaging or to capture the value of reused products.
What is Canopy doing?
We are on the cusp of a Next Gen Solutions reformation. Packaging reduction measures that save retail companies money, competitive new technologies for making fabric and paper without wood, and citizen demand for environmental solutions are aligning. Solutions are beginning to emerge in exciting places around the world.
In the spirit of giving citizens and companies access to the Next Gen options sooner rather than later, Canopy is:
- Facilitating connections between purchasing companies and technological innovators;
- Partnering to develop a pooled equity investment funds of ~$300 million focused on enabling construction of commercial manufacturing facilities for paper and packaging made from alternative fibres such as agricultural residues and on scaling up next-gen viscose fabrics made with inputs such as straw, microbial cellulose and/or used cotton garments; and
- Educating the investment sector about next generation innovations.