Printers Team Up with Canopy to Drive Business and Eco Solutions
In July of 2015, the Premier of Quebec and the Cree Nation’s Grand Chief jointly announced additional protection in the Broadback Forest, a jewel of Canada’s Boreal forest ecosystem. This agreement was the result of concerted efforts on the part of the Crees, the Quebec government, numerous non-governmental organizations and in no small part, forest product buyers such as large commercial printers and their brand customers. It turns out that just as with raising a child, securing a stable supply of sustainable papers and a viable future for the world’s forests really does take a village—and the role of forest product customers in that community cannot be overstated.
As a major consumer of paper, your business matters—to the forest industry, communities and governments. Your purchasing decisions influence R&D by forest companies, lead to product innovation and ecopaper options, bolster the adoption of forest certification, and ultimately help determine the fate of ancient and endangered forests.
As we all know, forestry operations can sometimes be contentious and the landscape of competing claims can be confusing.
That’s where Canopy comes in. As an international not-for-profit organization, Canopy specializes in catalyzing sustainable supply chains and has its finger on the pulse of forestry from the marketplace to the cut block. To help printers and their customer's brands navigate this sometimes convoluted landscape, Canopy works collaboratively with businesses to chart a safe and sustainable path.
For over 15 years, we’ve been liaising with the global pulp and paper marketplace, communities, governments and the forest industry to broker solutions that work for businesses while simultaneously helping to advance forest conservation, better forest management practices and species protection.
Our team currently supports over 750 businesses to develop and implement purchasing policies that will avoid risk to reputational capital while still meeting fiber and print needs. We track policies, progress and transparency in the printing sector, among others, and report out on printers’ sustainability achievements to large print customers.
Along with the Eco-Paper Database, Canopy’s Blueline Report, released at the Sustainable Brands San Diego conference this spring, is proving to be a much-valued tool for brands. Print customers report using it to find the printers that best meet their own sustainability objectives including driving the development of papers that are made with high recycled content, non-wood fiber and Forest Stewardship certified fibers, as well as eliminating their use of papers containing endangered forest fiber.
When printers support the development of ecopapers, new products come to market. The same can be said for printers advocating for conservation of the world’s important forests. The recent agreement to protect 1,343,264 acres (543,600 hectares) of the Broadback Forest illustrates that legacy-making at work.
The Broadback, which has never been logged, provides prime habitat for bears, lynx and threatened woodland caribou. It supports communities, filters water, stores massive amounts of carbon and supplies food and revenue. It’s an ancient forest ecosystem that cannot be recreated by tree planting.
This remarkable conservation gain would not have been accomplished without the support and leadership of many North American printers and print customers, including TC Transcontinental and EarthColor.
Francois Olivier, the CEO of TC Transcontinental, provided the keynote address at a forum of customers and investors brought together by Canopy in support of Broadback Forest conservation in Summer 2014. Following this forum, numerous forest products’ customers and investors directly engaged their suppliers and key government decision makers to advance this new protected area proposal. This summer’s announcement of additional protection is a powerful testament to the role that printers can play in helping to drive solutions.
Whether it is Canada’s Boreal forests, the Great Bear Rainforest or Indonesia’s tropical rainforests, this kind of marketplace leadership is invaluable. It helps secure protection of the most threatened forests while ensuring business needs for sustainable products will be met into the future as well.
In October, several North American printers provided updated information to Canopy for the next iteration of the Blueline Report matrix, an online assessment of key environmental performance indicators in the print sector. The updated matrix will be released shortly, and as a living document, another update is planned for spring, 2016.
We encourage you to contact us to see how your business can move up the ranks and how support for conservation solutions and ecopaper development are recognized in this assessment.
Catherine Stewart, a corporate campaigner with Canopy, an independent not-for-profit organization, has over 25 years of experience in the environmental movement on issues ranging from fisheries and forests conservation to water pollution and climate change. She was a lead negotiator on the Great Bear Rainforest campaign, brokering the moratorium in over 100 intact valleys and playing a pivotal role in crafting the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements in British Columbia.
Working with Canopy, an independent not-for-profit environmental organization, Stewart is continuing her efforts to increase conservation of the world’s threatened forests by assisting forest product customers in the development of sustainable purchasing policies.
Formerly a small business owner in a resource-based community, Stewart understands the importance of both jobs and a healthy environment to the viability and long-term future of rural communities.