Project: Pulp Finance

Stop harmful investment in unsustainable pulp mills

The pulp finance working group aims to avoid irresponsible and risky investment in and financing of pulp mills. To achieve this, we engage with investors, financiers and others in the financial world to ensure that their decisions are well-informed and take into account all the relevant likely impacts of developments, from their fibre sources to their human rights implications.

In our engagement, we urge investors to adopt strong and public policies regarding investments in the pulp and paper industry. Our document Green Paper, Red Lines, sets out 14 minimum requirements for pulp and paper industry finance.

Unfortunately, the 2017 and 2020 In the Red reports, which scored the policies of large pulp financing banks against the Red Lines, finds that the banking sector still does not have policies that are fit for purpose to avoid irresponsible investment in damaging pulp and paper projects and companies.

The working group also engages with (potential) financiers on particular companies, especially on their plans to build new mills. New mills cost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, and therefore companies need large financiers to realise these projects. It is important that (potential) financiers and investors make sure they are well informed about the predicted social and environmental impacts of the new mills, as they can be held co-responsible for them.

EPN has published a map of proposed and planned new pulp mills as well as a report on these plans for pulp mill expansion. As of September 2021, there are several large-scale projects for new pulp mills around the world, including a mill in Mozambique by Portucel/The navigator Company, a mill in Paso de los Toros in Uruguay by UPM, a mill in Indonesia by APP, and potentially two large mills in Brazil (one by Euca Energy in Mato Grosso, and one by Suzano, in Ribas do Rio Pardo). On the other hand, two other large mills have been shelved, after strong opposition: one in Estonia by EstFor and a mill in Amazar, Russia.

More details about these and other ‘Dodgy Deals’ can be found on the website of BankTrack. There you can find the following profiles:

Companies: Asia Pulp & Paper, APRIL, Arauco, Bracell, Eldorado BrasilKlabin, Suzano and UPM;

Pulp mill projects: Amazar (Russia), APP Andhra Pradesh (India), EstFor (Estonia), MAPA (Chile), OKI Pulp & Paper (Indonesia), Paso de los Toros (Uruguay) and Portucel/The navigator Company, (Mozambique).

In general, financial institutions are not transparent about their financing of and investments in pulp and paper companies. ForestsandFinance is a tool that is meant to increase that transparency. It contains a public database with information about loans, underwritings, bond and shareholdings for the largest pulp and paper companies in South East Asia, Brazil and DRC.


Join us! If you are interested in knowing more or in joining us, please contact our coordinator of the Pulp Finance Working Group: Karen Vermeer [[email protected]]