International Paper is one of the world’s leading producers of fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper. Our mission is to improve lives, our planet and our performance by transforming renewable resources into products people depend on every day. With trees as our primary raw material, our entire business depends on the sustainability of forestland. We have a longstanding commitment to ensure the fiber we use is sourced from responsibly managed forests, wherever we operate in the world.
Customer demand for certified forest products continues to grow. Certifications are designed to provide consumer confidence that the products they purchase support environmentally and socially responsible practices through forest management and procurement processes. To meet customer needs and further our commitment to responsible forestry practices, International Paper established Certified Forest Management (CFM) LLC, our own Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) forest management group. In doing so, we provide a cost-effective means for small private landowners in the United States to become FSC certified.
In the United States, more than 90 percent of the fiber we use to manufacture products is derived from private landowners, and a significant portion of that fiber comes from small family-owned forests. These landowners are often reluctant to take on the additional costs or administrative burden associated with certifying their property to a forest certification standard.
To achieve our goal of increasing certified fiber in our supply chain, we knew we had to overcome these barriers. Through CFM, International Paper guides landowners and wood suppliers throughout the entire certification process. Our staff develops management plans, conducts high conservation value assessments, monitors forest management activities over time and represents landowners during third-party certification audits. It’s a turnkey operation that has resulted in a “why not?” proposition for most qualified landowners.
Since 2012, International Paper has enrolled thousands of acres of privately owned timberlands into CFM. Currently, the group consists of 218 private landowners from 10 states encompassing approximately 520,000 acres. These efforts have helped International Paper achieve a 31 percent increase in certified fiber over our 2010 baseline.
CFM promotes sustainable forestry and maintaining working forests while providing an incentive for landowners to become FSC certified. Ultimately, this allows International Paper to deliver the FSC-certified products our customers want and advance our commitment to keeping “Sustaining Forests” at the heart of our strategy to be among the most successful, sustainable and responsible companies in the world.