The State of the Paper Industry 2011
he Environmental Paper Network (EPN) publishes the State of the Industry Report as a resource for policy-makers, non- governmental organizations (NGOs), the paper industry, large volume paper purchasers and other stakeholders to monitor key indicators of environmental sustainability in the North American pulp and paper industry. This 2011 installment highlights some of the key trends in these indicators over the past decade.
Even in the digital age, the paper industry’s global social and environmental footprint is enormous. Rising global consumption and the race to provide cheap paper has resulted in sustained market pressure to push deeper into previously unindustrialized forest landscapes, and to convert high-diversity, carbon-rich natural forests to fast-growing, biologically barren tree plantations. The industry is a driving influence on land use decisions and has profound implications for labor, pollution and climate change.
Paper products are integrated into nearly every aspect of our daily lives. And paper is indisputably important to society. Manufacturing paper will be a major industry for the foreseeable future. However, providing the benefits of paper to people in a way that does not diminish the earth’s natural resources or result in inequities and conflict remains one of society’s most critical and pressing challenges.
In 2007, the Environmental Paper Network published its first State of the Industry Report: Monitoring the Indicators of Environmental Performance. The 2007 report continues to serve as a comprehensive reference document containing detailed information about many aspects of the environmental performance of the paper industry. This 2011 Update: Steps Toward an Environmental Vision identifies representative trends over the last decade and monitors the progress of the transformation of the industry in North America.