Logging itself is not illegal per se, but unregulated logging is widely recognised as unsustainable and, as such, companies worldwide are being encouraged to procure their wood-based products from forests that are managed in a responsible and sustainable manner.
Although paper has substantially less of an impact on the environment than plastic or metal, for example, the unregulated deforestation, which comes as a side-effect of the increasing worldwide demand for paper, is consuming around 7,3m hectares of trees every year.
“To put this into perspective,” says Hans Dummer, regional manager for Epson Southern Africa, “7,3m hectares equates to roughly one fifth of the total land area of Japan, and unregulated deforestation is destroying that many trees every year.
“To this extent, Epson has put in very strict policies – developed in conjunction with the World Wide Fund for Nature – that allows all Epson paper to be traced back to the type of wood and specific forest where the product originated from.
“While there is an ongoing need to continue to produce paper, companies do have the ability to ensure that they help promote the sustainable management of this very important natural resource.
“At Epson, we already had various policies in place for the procurement of paper products from sustainable forests, but the new set of policies that we have put together covers our entire spectrum of paper products, from standard white paper to photographic paper,” Dummer says.
Epson will continue to effectively use recycled pulp from sources including old paper. However, the company will now also confirm legality, sustainability, chemical substance safety and environmental management when procuring paper products from suppliers.