The Environmental Paper Network (EPN) is a world-wide network of over 140 civil society organisations working together towards the Global Paper Vision. This Vision expresses their common goal to create transformational change in the pulp and paper industry and wider society, so that paper production and use contributes to a clean, healthy, just and sustainable future for life on earth.
EPN is a respected, credible, and influential voice on pulp and paper sustainability issues across the global supply chain and paper’s life cycle. Their network of non-profit organisations is effectively empowering and motivating consumers, corporations, organisations and governments to protect forests, climate, air, water and communities through more sustainable production and consumption of pulp and paper. EPN facilitates a powerful movement of independent organisations, strategically leveraging their collective expertise and resources, to initiate change and environmental improvement in the pulp and paper industry.
History: EPN began in 2002 as an unlikely alliance of environmental organisations with very diverse approaches to a common problem — addressing the scale of the challenges and opportunities for social justice and conservation presented by the expanding forest, pulp and paper industry in North America. In 2005 a similar network formed in Europe and wrote a new Vision that included social issues as well as environmental ones. In 2009, the Chinese Environmental Paper Network formed. In 2014, organisations in these Networks collaboratively wrote an updated Global Paper Vision, to include current, key issues and harmonise global efforts. They work together through regional and international working groups on topics including paper saving, Indonesian rainforests, pulp finance and forests, climate and biomass energy. Today, EPN is a network of over 140 organisations working in alignment towards a common goal to create the transformational change in the industry described in the Global Paper Vision.
EPN’s unification of the many environmental organisations working to transform the paper industry has helped to catalyze significant market shifts. Tangible evidence of this shift includes the legal protection of millions of acres of Endangered Forests; significant increases in the number of paper-related certifications and forest acres certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC); hundreds of large companies developing environmental paper policies; the rapidly growing availability of genuine environmental papers to purchasers; decreases in U.S. and European over-consumption; and increased demand for, and use of, recovered fibre.
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