Tough Questions

As Canopy continues to dedicate ourselves to the global movement to protect the world’s Ancient and Endangered Forests, we want to keep you up to date on our latest work to bring new, innovative, and circular paper, packaging, and textiles to market.

Keeping dedicated supporters like you updated on vital forest-saving solutions is critical to our mission. That’s why we are reaching out about our Next Gen Solutions programme, beginning with the most commonly-asked questions.

What are Next Generation materials?

Next Gen materials are made from feedstocks such as agricultural waste like wheat straw residues, microbial cellulose from food waste, or from recycled cotton and viscose textile waste. Over 11 million tonnes of Next Gen pulp, paper, and packaging are already on the market.

Do Next Gen products look/feel the same as those made with less sustainable methods?

Absolutely, yes in many instances, but Next Gen benefits can be differentiated in other ways! Next Gen products are designed to be as good or even better than those created by less sustainable methods. They use innovative sources of fibre, such as wheat straw and repurposed textiles that would otherwise be burned or landfilled, to produce paper packaging and fashion fabrics. While the pulping process is different, the next stage of production — turning pulp into paper or viscose/lyocel uses the same mills and methods. Canopy has a proven track record of providing technical assistance to producers in order to ensure Next Gen adoption goes smoothly.

What are the barriers to making Next Gen Solutions mainstream?

The most significant barrier is scaling production to make Next Gen alternatives more widely available. The technologies already exist, but it’s essential that they move from niches to benefit from economies of scale and reach commercial production volumes. To allow for this scale-up, we’re focusing on helping build the business ecosystems in a few key regions that are primed for Next Gen production. With the recent $60 million funding from The Audacious Project, we will be doubling down to create a large market for these new products, ultimately leveling out costs and improving accessibility.

Are Next Gen products more expensive?

At first, Next Gen products might be more expensive due to the limited scale in production. But coordinating production and creating more demand from brands and producers will bring more Next Gen facilities online and contribute to costs decreasing and becoming more competitive with less sustainable products. Ultimately, the environmental and social benefits of Next Gen products — and risks associated with wood products from high carbon forests — make them a smarter long-term investment.

How do you incentivize brands to commit to Next Gen production?

More than 900 brands have already signed on to ambitious sourcing and procurement commitments through Canopy’s Pack4Good and CanopyStyle initiatives. Right now, businesses are seeing a convergence of demand for more sustainable products from consumers as well as new, more stringent climate and deforestation regulations from regional governments, so they are actively looking for cleaner, greener alternatives to traditional pulp. Brands can leverage this market demand while meeting their sustainability commitments by partnering with us to adopt Next Gen solutions and affirming their commitment to a greener future.

How will Canopy measure and report the progress of its Audacious Big Idea?

Canopy measures success in a variety of ways. We track the change in volume of Next Gen pulp production and the volume of wood pulp annually as well as how many hectares of Ancient and Endangered Forests are protected. We also assess the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. Progress is reported every year in our annual report, available on our website.

How will Canopy involve local communities and indigenous peoples in its forest conservation efforts while ensuring their rights and livelihoods are respected?

Canopy prioritizes community-led conservation efforts and collaborates with Indigenous peoples to establish a viable conservation-based economy that respects their rights. Destructive logging and pulp plantations harm many Indigenous and traditional forest-based communities’ cultural and economic ties to biodiverse species and carbon rich forests. 

Do you have a question about our strategic plan or anything else?

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