Demonstrating Sustainability

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The Canadian forest industry is a leader in green business initiatives. So why doesn’t the world know it?

When it comes to sustainability, the forest, paper and packaging (FPP) sector leads as one of the most sustainable in the world. However, the FPP industry has struggled to communicate its sustainable business practices effectively. If the sector continues this way, it will affect their long-term reputation, customer retention and ability to attract talent.

Sustainability reporting is a voluntary initiative that is becoming more widely adopted across a variety of industries, as an effective means of communicating with stakeholders. While many North American FPP companies produce some form of a sustainability report, they do not seek the additional credibility from third-party assurance, possibly because of the additional cost. The industry also finds itself juggling conflicting market demands: on the one hand, consumers demand “greener” products; on the other hand, they don’t necessarily want to pay more for them. So how can FPP companies meet these demands and improve their image?

The industry must take advantage of the shift towards green business practices by communicating its dedication to sustainability and find innovative ways to generate revenue such as alternative energy generation and the inherent “green” value in wood and paper products. Companies need a business-wide sustainability strategy that will raise awareness of their long-term approach to sustaining the planet’s resources.

How we can help

PricewaterhouseCoopers approaches sustainability in a strategic way. Our professionals help FPP companies and their customers define strategies and plans for environmental, social and economic sustainability.

We also assist businesses with improving operational processes, certification of sustainability management systems and provide assurance on performance reporting. Our integrated FPP and Sustainability teams provide help in the following areas:

  • Securing economically sustainable raw materials
  • Opportunities to generate new revenue sources (forest carbon credits, bio-fuels and energy)
  • Fibre security
  • Environmental, social and economic sustainability strategy
  • Benchmarking and performance improvement for operations
  • Certification of sustainability management systems
  • Assurance on performance reporting
  • Determining, managing and verifying carbon footprints
  • Developing, communicating and implementing corporate social responsibility and supply-chain ethical and environmental policies