Stopping forests from being cut down – a global approach

Canopy Planet Society

At a glance

35 to 60 percent of the world’s forests, depending on region, continue to be felled to manufacture the products we consume, from t-shirts to toilet paper.1  The rapid loss of these critical forests puts communities and species at risk. Forests also represent the most powerful and efficient carbon-capture system on the planet to prevent catastrophic climate impacts. An estimated 30 percent of the climate solution lies in stopping deforestation and forest degradation, and restoring damaged forests.2

Canopy Planet Society works to transform the world’s unsustainable supply chains and protect these last-frontier forests that are essential for stabilizing our climate and ensuring a vibrant, healthy future for our planet and its diverse inhabitants.

The partners

Over the last 20 years, Canopy Planet Society has helped secure the protection of more than 18 million acres in key forests around the world. Canopy Planet Society works with over 750 large book publishers, magazines, newspapers, printers and fashion brands – such as H&M, Zara, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent, Gucci, Target, The Globe and Mail, and The Guardian Media Group. Canopy Planet Society gives expert advices to companies to identify the issues in their supply chain and implement alternatives. Canopy Planet Society works with purchasers to use their collective purchasing power to change producer sourcing and catalyze commercial-scale next generation solutions (like fabric made of recycled materials).

The problem

Canopy Planet Society works to address two problem areas driving deforestation; packaging and the use of viscose in fashion industry. 

Packaging has a massive environmental and social footprint and accounts now for more than half of global paper and paperboard production.3  221 million tons of packaging are produced each year, conservatively forecast to grow to 482 million tons per year by 2030.4 Much of current packing fiber comes from the world’s ancient and endangered (A&E) forests and environmentally efficient alternatives are underinvested. In fashion only 30 percent of global viscose supply is from sustainable sources.5

The solution

Canopy Planet Society Paper Futures 2.0 initiative gives technical support to companies to develop and implement policies focused on reduction of paper packaging use. 

The levers of change are:

  • Reduce packaging use through smarter design and efficiency measures and increase recycled content
  • Pursue next generation solution supplies of pulp/paper, i.e. made with agricultural residues such as wheat, flax or rice straw, banana stems, pineapple tops; ecologically derived bamboo and other crop residues
  • Specify FSC certified wood when virgin wood fiber is required

CanopyStyle 2.0 aims to move the entire global viscose supply chain out of A&E forests and catalyze commercial-scale production of tree-free viscose made from next generation alternatives such as agricultural residues, microbial cellulose or used clothing. 

Key levers include:

  • Critical mass of large global retailers and brands enact a strict 'jurisdictional' approach to sourcing viscose with no A&E Forest fiber with target of 0 percent
  • 30 – 50 percent increase in FSC certified fiber used for viscose production
  • 30 percent of the fiber used to make viscose comes from next generation solution fibers
  • No new viscose mills are built with conventional tree fibre as their feedstock after December 2022.

The evidence

Previous Canopy Planet Society successes include:

  • Secured commitment of 12 suppliers / 80 percent global viscose production to end sourcing from A&E forests
  • Played pivotal roles in securing large-scale conservation gains in 25 million acres of A&E forests in Indonesia, Canada’s Boreal Forest, and North America’s Coastal Temperate Rainforest

The Impact

By end of 2022 Paper Futures 2.0 initiative aims include:

  • 60 large corporate consumers of packaging have procurement policies that commit to eliminate sourcing from A&E forests and improve their packaging design for materials efficiency
  • 5 - 10 of the world’s top packaging producers have committed not to source from A&E forests 
  • 3 - 5 leading global packaging companies prioritize alternative fibers such as straw and develop design-efficient packaging
  • Forest Protection: 4 - 8 million hectares of A&E forests are under formal protection or logging moratoria as a result of packaging company engagement

Canopy Planet Society works towards SDGs: