Tetra Pak first started working with the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) in 2006. It is a partnership underpinned by shared goals, and also by the recognition that urgent, practical action is needed to tackle deforestation and forest degradation. For our part, we are making good progress towards achieving our long-term ambition of ensuring that 100% of our paperboard comes from responsibly managed forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™). WWF is advocating responsible forest management and enabling conditions for landscapes where nature and forest ecosystem services are valued and conserved, to reach their target of Zero Net Deforestation and Forest Degradation by 2020.
Over the past 10 years, we have worked together on a range of projects, including those outlined below. These show how Tetra Pak is leveraging this valuable partnership to engage with stakeholders at both global and local level and find practical, sustainable solutions to current and future challenges.
China is the world’s biggest papermaker. Fast-growing demand for fibre for pulp and paper production, combined with relatively low awareness of the importance of responsible sourcing, is creating challenges – but also opening up opportunities. WWF China already has strong links with the forestry authorities and key corporate players, and we are drawing on these to help raise awareness and establish our own presence in this vital area. Currently, for example, we are helping to support a pulp and paper specialist in the WWF China office, whose remit includes encouraging leading buyers to commit to responsible procurement and efficient use of paper and fibre and promoting the High Conservation Value concept.
Established in 1991, the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) is one of WWF’s leading initiatives to combat illegal logging and drive improvements in forest management. GFTN brings together almost 200 companies, communities and governments in over 30 countries to create market incentives for responsible forestry and trade practices. As active members, we are committed to a number of actions, including maintaining our global FSC Chain of Custody multi-site certificate, increasing the proportion of FSC-certified and labelled packaging material we sell to our customers, strengthening our global due diligence system and providing an annual update on forestry and traceability.
Together, WWF and Tetra Pak are supporting smallholder forest management activities around the world. This involves boosting capacity – including by establishing local forest owners’ associations and providing education – strengthening the competences needed to manage forests responsibly, and helping them to develop more profitable businesses. Experience shows that what works are bottom-up, participative and engaging models that take into account economic and social as well as environmental criteria. We are supporting a new project, the Fair Wood Program, which supports smallholder and community forest management, promotes local processing and facilitates market connections in order to incentivize forest protection and restoration and support the development and wellbeing of local communities.
One of the benefits of close partnership working is the ability to identify specific bottlenecks – and develop solutions to tackle them. One such targeted solution is the Forest Integrity Assessment tool, which aims to support responsible forestry by providing a checklist, based on input from local biologists and scientists, which smallholders can use to identify areas with features that indicate proxies for biodiversity conservation values as well as gaps of ecological values that could be enhanced within their forests. The great advantage is that the checklist can be used by forest owners without specialist knowledge of species and ecology. Tetra Pak is supporting the testing and roll out of the tool, which is already proving very successful with scientists, FSC and other conservation organizations in countries around the world.
Tetra Pak and WWF have been active partners of the High Conservation Value (HCV) Resource Network. The HCV Network is a member organisation formed in 2006 that brings together users of the HCV approach and helps them identify, manage and monitor HCVs and assure that a consistent approach is applied worldwide.
The Tetra Pak and WWF partnership has financially supported important work of the HCV Resource Network for example the development of a practical user manual for general interpretation and identification of HCVs as well as a general guidance for the management and monitoring of HCVs. These guidelines have been translated into 7 different languages. WWF and Tetra Pak also contributed to the development of the HCV Assessor Licensing Scheme (ALS) that was created to improve the competency of HVC assessors and increase the quality of the HCV assessment reports.