Canadian Forest Products Industry Aims to be First Carbon-Neutral Sector



    Industry to Achieve Goal without Purchasing Offsets

    OTTAWA, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - The Forest Products Association of Canada
(FPAC) announced today that Canada's forest products industry, a global leader
in sustainable forest management, is setting a new bar for environmental
responsibility and action on climate change: industry-wide carbon-neutrality
by 2015 without the purchase of carbon offset credits. A partnership with
WWF-Canada will inform and help guide the initiative. The announcement was
made at the second annual Business of Climate Change Conference in Ottawa.
    "We are pleased that FPAC is taking such a leadership position and not
waiting for government regulations before taking action. My big hope is that
other Canadian sectors will follow suit and rise to the challenge," said Mike
Russill, President and CEO of WWF-Canada.
    "Climate change is the number one environmental threat facing the world
today and becoming carbon neutral is the most significant step the forest
products sector can take to reduce its overall environmental footprint," said
Avrim Lazar, President and CEO of FPAC. "Canada's forest products industry has
already made significant strides in mitigating its impact on the climate and
its next step is to be carbon-neutral. The initiative we are announcing today
has the potential to not only move the industry towards carbon-neutrality by
2015 but to go beyond, potentially removing more greenhouse gases from the
atmosphere than we emit. And, unlike other sectors that rely significantly on
the purchase of offsets, we can get there without having to do so."
    "The road will not be easy but we are confident that we can get there
with the help of our partners and key stakeholders, and the guidance of other
advisors," added Lazar. "WWF has already begun some groundbreaking research
into the global potential of sustainable forestry for bioenergy supply and
climate change mitigation, and their Climate Savers program has established a
high standard of emission reductions among leaders in many business sectors."
    Over the past two decades, FPAC members have set the pace for facility
upgrades and innovative processes in a continued effort to improve their
environmental performance and limit their impact on climate change. In so
doing, they have reduced their fossil-fuel dependence to the point where
almost 60% of their pulp and paper facilities' energy needs are self-generated
from renewable sources. From an environmental perspective, these efforts have
had tangible results since 1990: a 45% cut in the use of fossil fuels, a 54%
improvement in greenhouse gas emissions intensity, a 40% reduction in landfill
waste, and a 44% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. These environmental
improvements also bring distinct economic benefits, as FPAC members have
increased their production by 20%.
    "While we take great pride in our record of reducing emissions within our
own operations, we are committed to going further and we encourage others to
also voluntarily embrace stretch targets," concluded Lazar. "As a next step,
by working with suppliers, customers and other stakeholders across our value
chain, we hope to not only minimize our own carbon profile but also to provide
our customers with the information and products they need to meet their own
climate change objectives."

    About WWF-Canada

    WWF-Canada works to save nature by conserving species and protecting
their habitats; by ensuring our use of natural resources is sustainable, and
by helping individuals, companies and governments reduce pollution. For more
information, visit wwf.ca

    About FPAC

    FPAC is the voice of Canada's wood, pulp and paper producers nationally
and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's
forest industry is an $80 billion dollar a year industry that represents 3% of
Canada's GDP. The industry is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in
over 320 Canadian communities and providing nearly 900,000 direct and indirect
jobs across the country.


    
                             MEDIA BACKGROUNDER

                   Towards a Carbon-Neutral Forest Industry

    Background

    Canada's forest products industry is a leader in addressing global climate
change. Over the past two decades, the industry has set the pace for facility
upgrades and innovative processes in a continued effort to improve its
environmental performance and limit its impact on climate change. In so doing,
members of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) have reduced their
fossil-fuel dependence to the point where almost 60% of their pulp and paper
facilities' energy needs are self-generated from renewable sources. From an
environmental perspective, these efforts have had tangible results since 1990:
a 45% cut in the use of fossil fuels, a 54% improvement in greenhouse gas
emissions intensity, a 40% reduction in landfill waste, and a 44% reduction in
greenhouse gas emissions. These environmental improvements also bring distinct
economic benefits, as FPAC members have increased their production by 20%.

    The Canadian Forest Industry Carbon Profile

    FPAC recently commissioned a report by the National Council for Air and
Stream Improvement (NCASI) titled "The Greenhouse Gas and Carbon Profile of
the Canadian Forest Products Industry", making the Canadian forest products
industry the first forest industry in the world to assess and report on its
total carbon profile. The NCASI report will provide a foundation from which
the industry can identify areas for continued progress and improvement.
    The NCASI report documents the forest products industry's carbon and
greenhouse gas (GHG) profile which includes three distinct parts: emissions,
sequestration, and avoided emissions. Emissions consist of transfers of GHGs
to the atmosphere from forest products industry facilities or from elsewhere
in the forest products industry value chain. They consist primarily of carbon
dioxide from fossil fuel combustion (including indirect emissions associated
with purchased electricity) and methane from decomposition of discarded
products in landfills. The sequestration component consists of carbon
contained in and transferred between forests, forest products, and landfills.
Avoided emissions consist of emissions that would have occurred were it not
for certain industry activities. While avoided emissions are very difficult to
quantify and not claimed in the same manner as direct emissions or
sequestration, they are critical to understanding the overall carbon profile
of the forest sector. The full text of the report will be available at:
http://www.ncasi.org/

    A Carbon-Neutral Canadian Forest Industry

    Canada's forest products industry, a global leader in sustainable forest
management, is setting a new bar for environmental responsibility and action
on climate change: industry-wide carbon-neutrality by 2015 without the
purchase of carbon offset credits. To achieve their carbon-neutral commitment,
FPAC members, working in partnership with key stakeholders including
governments and environmental organizations, will pursue an aggressive
strategy focused on:

    1) Reducing direct and indirect emissions:
       - Becoming energy self-sufficient - the industry will continue to
         drive additional energy-efficiencies by switching from fossil fuels
         to more renewable energy sources such as biomass.
       - Adoption of new more energy-efficient technologies.
       - Increased diversion of used forest products from landfills.
       - Increased use of landfill capping systems.
       - Increased cogeneration opportunities

    2) Increasing the sequestration potential of forests and products:
       - Identifying opportunities to maintain and enhance carbon storage in
         forests through landscape planning and sustainable forest management
         practices.
       - Enhancing the pool of carbon stored in the value chain and
         minimizing emissions from end-of- life disposal.

    3) Increasing avoided emissions:
       - Determining ways to maximize recycling of paper and wood products.
       - Understanding the carbon implications of wood-based materials in
         relation to available substitutes.

    Working Together with WWF

    FPAC and WWF-Canada agree that some of the greatest opportunities for the
future of the forest industry will be realized by providing leadership in
sustainability and environmental performance. Already the organizations,
working together, have helped chart a path for more sustainable management in
commercial forestry by developing a toolkit for high conservation value
forests (HCVF).
    Climate change is the issue on the agenda of industry leaders across
sectors, as well as governments and consumers. For the forest sector, climate
change presents a number of complex challenges and opportunities. These
include the indirect repercussions of global warming, such as pine beetle
infestations, and the opportunity for the forest sector to position itself as
a climate friendly sector. Yet, there is not enough conclusive research and no
policy standards that clarify the right approach for making Canadian forestry
climate friendly.

    As a result, FPAC and WWF-Canada have initially agreed on a 2-year project
that will focus on:

    1. Identifying potential greenhouse gas savings from renewable energy,
       cogeneration and other mitigation options.
    2. Enhancing forestry-related life cycle analysis
    3. Working together on landscape-level and stand-level measures that are
       both carbon and conservation friendly.
    4. Using case studies, develop recommendations and proposed guidelines
       for bioenergy production and wood product manufacturing so that forest
       product use and greenhouse gas savings are maximized, while
       biodiversity impacts are minimized.

    Ongoing Progress on Carbon and Climate Change

    In addition to its work with WWF, FPAC is also pleased to have support a
group of advisors who have agreed to help coach FPAC in the pursuit of its
objectives:

    Darcie Booth, Canadian Forest Service

    Tony Lempriere, Canadian Forest Service

    Dr. Werner Kurz, Canadian Forest Service

    Jennifer O'connor, FP Innovations, Forintek

    Tom Browne, FP Innovations, Paprican

    Reid Miner, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

    Brad Upton, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

    Kirsten Vice, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement

    Dr. Marlo Raynolds, Pembina Institute

    Michael Northrop, Rockefeller Brothers Fund

    Dr. Gordon McBean, UWO, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction

    Florence Daviet, World Resources Institute

    Also providing advice will be engaged individuals from the market and
customer supply chain.
    




For further information:

For further information: Laura Ballance, Curve Communications, (604)
684-3170, (604) 771-5176 (cell), laura@curvecommunications.com; Isabelle Des
Chênes, Director, Communications, Forest Products Association of Canada, (613)
563-1441 ext: 323, ideschenes@fpac.ca; Maggie MacDonald, Manager,
Communications, Climate Change Program, WWF-Canada, (416) 919-8905 (cell),
MMacDonald@wwfcanada.org


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