Securing a sustainable wood supply
Securing access to sustainable and credible sources of fibre, to meet the needs of our business in the short, medium and long term, is one of the most significant issues facing our business. Ensuring that our forestry practices are sustainable, from the management of our own forests through to the procurement of our wood and fibre throughout the supply chain, is a fundamental business imperative.
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Sustainable forestry is key to our overall business approach. In the context of fibre procurement, this means the responsible sourcing of the remainder of our raw input materials, and consideration for the way in which they are produced and used.
Mondi owns or leases 2.4 million hectares of land in South Africa and Russia, all of which is FSC™ certified. In central and western Europe we do not own or lease forests, and wood is supplied from external sources, mainly state forests that are sustainably managed and from private growers with a long tradition of responsible forestry. Of the total amount of wood procured in 2013, 66% was certified to FSC™ or PEFC™ (2012: 65%).
We are not party to deforestation or illegal logging. For every tree that is felled in our plantation forests, at least one other is planted. Mondi has strict fibre sourcing requirements that ensure we do not use illegal wood, including mixed tropical hardwood species or other species listed under the Convention of International Trade on Endangered Species. We use no wood from genetically modified trees, nor do we grow genetically modified crops.
Challenges of sustainable fibre supply
Despite the efforts of various certification systems, the current level of global forest certification remains below 10%. Although this percentage is significantly higher in areas where we operate, it is not increasing at the necessary rate to satisfy increasing demand, making it challenging to source an increasing proportion of certified wood. The shortage of certified wood in Europe has been exacerbated by subsidies for biomass for energy generation.
Both the FSC™ and PEFC™ were required to adjust their systems to ensure compliance with the EU Timber Regulations (EUTRs) and have been strengthened as a result. Even for certified forests, the EUTRs require that forest owners (operators) apply appropriate due diligence in their processes.
- All wood, fibre and biomass sourced from our owned, leased and managed areas are FSC™ certified.
- In sensitive, high risk areas* Mondi sources its wood from FSC™-certified forests.
- Mondi also encourages certification by PEFC™ as a credible alternative in low-risk countries.
- 66% of Mondi’s total wood supply is certified to FSC™ (47%) or PEFC™ (19%) standards.
- All our mills have Chain-of-Custody certifications, with the latest, Stambolijski in Bulgaria, receiving certification in July 2013.
- All of our uncertified wood supplies must meet the requirements of the FSC™ Controlled Wood Standard that ensures due diligence in meeting legal compliance and no deforestation.
- We will have implemented ISO 14001 in all our owned and managed forests by June 2014.
Uncertified wood and fibre requirements
For the balance of uncertified wood fibre (34%) we make sure that the fibre meets our policy for Procurement of Wood, Virgin Fibre, Biomass and Finished Product Requirement, which stipulates the FSC™ Controlled Wood standard as minimum and meets the EU Timber Regulations and the US Lacey Act. This ensures that no wood or fibre originates from illegal or controversial sources and no sourcing leads to deforestation.
Availability of certified wood and small growers
In order to secure the availability of certified products from small growers in South Africa, Mondi supports small forestry business development.
Says Viv McMenamin, Director of Land and Forests: Mondi South Africa Division, “In 2013, Mondi procured timber from more than 3,000 emerging small woodlot growers in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, collectively known as Khulanathi, which means ‘grow with us’ in isiZulu. Valued at over €3.9 million, this is an important revenue stream for the rural communities surrounding the Richards Bay mill, making a significant contribution to local social upliftment.”
Key to the success of Khulanathi is Mondi Zimele, the enterprise development agency established to support contractors, create jobs, develop suppliers and ensure a secure fibre supply for the Mondi mills.
See Our forests: creating value in our forest communities for further details.
Engagement and dialogue
In order to achieve a sustainable certified supply of wood, we continue to engage with the certification systems, NGOs, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), other industry and relevant organisations and our suppliers to secure an increasing supply of certified-fibre input.