GO GREENWASH WITH ENVI

Q - how do you sell woodchipped Australian native forest to an
     Australian market who is becoming more environmentally aware?

A - buy some offset credits and launch Australia's
     first carbon neutral paper.

 

Go Greenwash with ENVI

Australian Paper (AP), the manufacturer of ENVI has had a long history of sourcing fibre from native forests and has been subject to consumer boycotts.

AP's Maryvale Mill in Gippsland Victoria will consume 350,000m3 of native forest pulp in 2009 [pdf pg 29] as well as producing pollutant emissions [link]. This mill produces its famous Reflex paper and some of the ENVI range. [link]

"ENVI grades are exactly the same paper that AP already produces. The only difference is that they have had the associated greenouse gas emmissions calculated and offset with carbon credits" (quote from Dalton). Some of ENVI's range includes part recycled content such as "ENVI Recycled 50/50" while some of their papers such as "ENVI DM MATT" and "REFLEX CARBON NEUTRAL" contain no recycled content. [link]

Australian Paper's Maryvale Mill
Image: Australian Paper's Maryvale Mill. [source]

Currently, AP is linked to logging in the Central Highland, Strzelecki Rainforest Reserve and the Baw Baw National Park, which has been recognised by several key scientific studies as one of Victoria’s most biologically significant sites and one of its most important water catchments [link] [link] [link] [link] [pdf]

The Central Highlands of Victoria are the world’s most carbon-dense forest according to researchers from the Australian National University. Professor Mackey said "It identifies a gap in climate change policy that Australia needs to address. There has been a lot of talk about the need to address tropical deforestation in developing countries, but these results show we must start by recognising the carbon benefits to be gained from protecting our native forests". [report pdf] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link]

Accrediting a paper which is sourcing part of their pulp from the worlds most carbon dense forests raises questions about the integrity of the "Greenhouse Friendly" program and what "Carbon Neutral" really means. [link]

While Melbourne is facing strict water restrictions this summer, Melbourne's main water catchment is losing 20,000 megalitres a year due to logging. Logging reduces waterflow in to our dams by 50% and causes erosion and pollution which impact on water quality. [link] [link] [link]

Image: Melbourne's Thomson catchment [source]

7 sins of Greenwash

Greenwash Sin 1

Sin of the Hidden Trade-off

Promoted as "A real solution to climate change" while containing Australian native forest.

Greenwash Sin 4

Sin of Worshiping False Labels

Entrust Wise Paper Choice - you made that one up, didn't you ENVI?

Greenwash Sin 6

Sin of Lesser of Two Evils

Carbon Neutral but containing Australian native forest.

“The seven sins of greenwash” is not associated with or does not endorse this article

Logging

Logging Industry Jargon

Sustainably managed forests

Also used as "sustainably managed forestry operation". These terms refer to Government endorsed logging of native forests. This endorsement has been established through various legislative and business deals using tactics such as the suppression of scientific evidence and environmental reports. [link] [link] [link] [link]

Old growth forest

Is defined in the 1992 Commonwealth National Forest Policy Statement as "Forest that is ecologically mature and has been subjected to negligible unnatural disturbance such as logging, roading and clearing". This definition is also susceptible to corruption in process. [link] [link]

Forest chain of custody certification schemes

These are schemes designed to manage timber sources. [link]

Australian Forestry Standard

The critised Australian certification scheme. [link] [link] [link]

PEFC

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification does not attempt to exclude wood from the conversion of natural forests to plantations or other land-uses, so long as the activities are accepted as legal in the country of origin. [link] PEFC have also been criticised for their industry-dominated governance and non-transparent processes. [link]

Forest Stewardship Council

The FSC certification is the strictest mainstream scheme in Australia but comes with different types of certification. The most lax FSC certification is "Mixed Source" which was designed to be used in areas such as Brazil as a compromise to help prevent illegal logging. Australian Paper has obtained an FSC Mixed Source certification for a few of their papers as they source their fibre from native forests (government supported), plantations as well as importing fibre from overseas. [link]

ISO 14001 (and related ISO)

ISO 14001 is a standard for environmental management system certification, it is designed to guide adopting organisations in the processes of environmental protection and prevention of pollution, however does not necessarily lead to ongoing improved environmental performance. [link] This standard does not imply that products or industrial processes are not impacting the environment.

Images 1-3: salvaged logged Victorian native forests [source]

Image 4: Stump of Brown Mountain old growth tree logged in November 2008, radiocarbon dated at over 500 years old [source]

Logging

Logging

Logging

stump


Logging of Australian Native Forests

"A high proportion of the hardwood used in Reflex comes from eucalypt wood, sourced from sustainably managed plantations and forestry operations and pulped at its Maryvale Mill. "Quote from Paperlinx [pdf]

"Wood for the pulpmills is sourced from both plantation and native forest sources. 64% of all Maryvale’s primary wood supplies (as distinct from imported pulp) are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and the remaining fibre derived from sustainably managed forests" Quote from Australian Paper [link]

"Pulp and paper is by far the largest segment of the processing sector, with the Maryvale mill converting 1.4 million m³ pa of log and sawmill chip (42% of Gippsland’s supply) into 466 kt of pulp and 585 kt of paper". Quote from Gippsland Private Forestry Inc. [pdf page 11]

"Of the 630,000 hectares of State forest, 407,000 hectares (39% of public land) are used to produce sawlogs on a sustainable basis". Quote from DPI [link]

"Public native forest harvestable under multiple use management occupies 9% of Gippsland and generates 45% of the region’s wood production." Quote from Gippsland Private Forestry Inc [link]

"The harvestable area of Gippsland’s public native forests (G. Featherston DSE unpublished data) is dominated by mixed species which account for 80% of the area (325 000 ha), followed by Alpine ash with 11% (45 000 ha) and Mountain Ash 9% (35 000 ha)" Quote from Gippsland Private Forestry Inc [pdf page 31]

"With efficient management focused on commercial wood production, the native forests are capable of producing logs with lower growing costs than plantations" Quote from Gippsland Private Forestry Inc [pdf page 35]

This research only covers Victoria and not the other areas in which Australian Paper operate such as Tasmainia.

Image: Protected Melbourne water catchment Watts River. [source]

rainforest

Companies Linked to ENVI

Nippon Paper

Nippon Paper recently bought Australian Paper from Paperlinx. [link] [link] [link] Nippon has a history of logging Australian forests [link] as well as falsifying the percentage of recycled paper used in its products. [link]

Paper linX

In June 2000 Amcor de-merged its fine paper business and PaperlinX was created as the parent company to Austraian Paper.

Australian Paper

Australian Paper created the ENVI brand. Australian Paper has a history of logging Australian forests. [link] [link] [link]

Dalton

Dalton is the Australian retailer of ENVI. Dalton sells all sorts of paper including paper made from Australian native forests. [link] Dalton also sells papers with low impacts such as Revive. [link]

VicForests

VicForests is a state owned statutory company responsible for administering the sale and supply of timber on publicly owned native forest on a commercial basis. VicForests have been accused of undercutting planation pulp suppliers by selling off native hardwood timbers for as little as $2.50 a tonne. [link] [link] [link] [link]

OMG

The marketing company (with many faces) who worked with Australian Paper to market ENVI. [link] [link] [link]

 

DISCLAIMER - All the companies and organisations included in this article are not associated with, or do not endorse this article

Image: A ream of Reflex paper in a clearfell logged and burnt area, Melbourne domestic water supply catchment at McMahons Creek 2007 [source]

Nippon
Nippon

reflex


What does ENVI have to say?

Stephen Hawkins, Corporate and Government Relationship Manager

We contacted Australian Paper to ask how they respond to claims of ENVI using Greenwash. Here is Stephen's unedited response. [link]

Paul Allen, GM Marketing, PaperlinX Printing & Publication Papers (spokesman for ENVI)

When did you become interested in sustainable issues?
(from a Design Victoria interview) [link]

It was probably about two and a half years ago. My interest was more of a commercial one working for a paper company in a highly commoditised market place, with little hope or no differentiation. For me, sustainability became a beacon of hope. I saw this movement taking place around the world and a greater consciousness and actually saw this could be a field our company could adopt as a positioning and pathway for growth. [link]

 

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