Reports from the Environmental Paper Network


Disposable Paper-based Food Packaging: the false solution to the packaging waste crisis
September 2023

Paper-based packaging remains the largest source of packaging waste in the European Union (41.1%). Totaling 32.7 million tonnes in 2020, paper-based waste is higher than the total of the two next largest materials combined—plastic (19.4%) and glass (19.1%). The country providing the most paper and pulp to the EU is Brazil. In the ongoing negotiations of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation, the EU must adopt effective rules to address the uncontrolled growth of single use packaging, no matter the material it is made ofread more

Modernizing ERISA Health Plan Communications: E-Delivery vs. Paper Mandates

The Estimated Environmental Impacts of Paper Healthcare Disclosures

July, 2023

Outdated federal policies – some of which were enacted before widespread internet access – force employers and health plans to print and mail paper notices, needlessly wasting billions of sheets of paper each year. With one simple rule change, the U.S. Department of Labor could eliminate the printing and mailing of an estimated 11.4 billion sheets of paper each year, reducing the environmental impacts equivalent to…read more

Biomass carbon accounting is no longer fit for purpose
June 2023

A peculiarity of UNFCCC and IPCC carbon accounting and reporting methodology is leading to unfair attribution of emissions from largescale bioenergy. What is emerging is an unintentional but concerning example of climate colonialism. It must be fixed. Read the briefing in English, Spanish or French.

Pulping Borneo

Land clearing operations on PT Industrial Forest Plantation, taken by Auriga Nusantara on October 23, 2022.Deforestation in the RGE Group’s supply chain and RGE’s hidden links to a new mega-scale pulp mill in North Kalimantan, Indonesia

May, 2023

Despite its well-publicized commitment to “No Deforestation”, Indonesia’s Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group, one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, still has deforestation in its pulp supply chain. RGE is also now linked to a new mega-scale pulp mill under construction in northeast Kalimantan, Indonesia which is expected to threaten some of the world’s largest tropical rainforests…read more

Unwrapping a Disaster: The human cost of overpackaging
April, 2023

The revised Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation could be a golden chance for the EU to play its part in making this happen, and embrace a truly circular economy. To do so, the Regulation needs to intensify its focus on reducing packaging waste production, and prioritize this over useful but ultimately insufficient targets around recycling rates and recycled content. In this report, facts, figures, and case studies show why paper packaging is not a sustainable alternative to plastic and reducing our packaging footprint is an essential part of efforts to protect the forests, the people you will meet in the case studies, and the climate we all depend upon…read more

Conflict Plantations Chapter 4: Scorching the earth

The impacts of pulp and paper expansion in the Três Lagoas region, Brazil

December, 2022

In the last two decades Brazil’s pulp and paper industry has tripled its pulp production capacity, from 6.7 to 21.5 million tons per year.2 The epicentre of pulp expansion is now shifting to the Três Lagoas region, on the eastern corner of Mato Grosso do Sul, where production exploded from 0 to more than 7 million tons per year within a decade…read more

Papering over corporate control

Paper Excellence’s relationship with Asia Pulp & Paper and the Sinar Mas Group

October 2022

Journalists and civil society groups have pointed out that Paper Excellence is a company controlled by the Sinar Mas Group, the parent conglomerate for pulp and paper producer Asia Pulp & Paper (APP). In Indonesia, APP and its wood suppliers have converted over 2 million hectares of tropical rainforests to establish pulpwood plantations, including in areas providing critical habitat for Sumatran elephants, orangutans and tigers, according to civil society analyses. Read more

Paracel pulp mill in Paraguay: A risky project

September, 2022

In September 2020, Paracel SA announed its intention to build a new pulp mill with its forestry component approximately 20 kilometers north of the city Concepción in Paraguay. This report summarizes the environmental and social costs of this project, including threat of expansion of forest plantations risks to the livelihoods of smallholder subsitence agriculture in the area. Read more.

Conflict Plantations Chapter 3: Stolen land and fading forests in Chile
May 2022

Chile is home to the second largest coastal temperate rainforest on the planet: the Selva Valdiviana. In recent decades, these forests have been largely replaced by timber plantations grown to supply the paper industry, and the last remaining stands are threatened by further industry expansion. The expansion of the paper industry in Chile has been dominated by the company, Celulosa Arauco y Constitución (Arauco), the largest in the industry…read more

Trashing the Last Rainforest: How Papua Treasures are Being Dumped into the Wastepaper Bin
March 2022

Until recently, the pristine forests in the remote province of Papua, Indonesia, remained relatively intact. Now, however, a wave of industrial plantations is carving up pockets of the region, clearing entire ecosystems as well as Indigenous Peoples’ lands to produce commodities for the global market…read more

Arauco’s Validvia Biomass Station: Carbon Emissions and Conflicts with Indigenous Communities in Chile
October 2021

Increasingly around the world pulp and paper mills are installing over-sized, dedicated biomass boilers alongside more traditional cogeneration units to take advantage of strong support and incentives for producing electricity from burning wood. Operators claim that the “renewable” electricity they produce replaces electricity produced with fossil fuels…read more (En Español)


The Green Bond Series. Episode 2: UPM-Kymmene Corporation

June 2021

This report is part of a series of reports on Green Bonds in the pulp and paper industry. It provides a case study on the UPM green bonds and their expected lack of added value in protecting the global climate and the environment. The risks and opportunities of green bonds in the forestry sector in general are also analysed here. Read more.

Swallowing Indonesia’s forests
March 2021

A number of projects called “Food Estate Programs” have been recently announced by the Indonesian government. The  projects could cover about 770,000 ha in Central Kalimantan (Borneo), 2 mln. hectares in Papua (New Guinea) and 32,000 in North Sumatra. The projects would change land use from ‘permanent forest’ to other uses targeting 630,000 ha in Central Kalimantan, 1.3 mln. ha in Papua and 32,000 thousand ha in North Sumatra. Read more. 

The Macao Money Machine.

Profit Shifting and Tax Leakage in Indonesia’s Pulp Exports.
November 2020.

The purpose of this report is to provide the Government of Indonesia and other stakeholders with a detailed analysis of profit shifting practices in the nation’s pulp industry. These practices appear to have resulted in the movement of substantial taxable profits generated within Indonesia to at least one offshore tax haven. The use of offshore tax havens by corporate actors has contributed to Indonesia’s low tax collection rates, which limit the country’s potential to fund infrastructure development, social welfare programs, pandemic response, and other fiscal priorities of the Government. Read more.



APRIL’s Links with PT Adindo Hutani Lestari Undercut “No Deforestation” Pledge

October 2020

In June 2015 APRIL Group, Indonesia’s second largest pulp and paper producer, and its parent conglomerate, Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group, adopted policies to have “no deforestation” in their supply chains. APRIL also committed to “no new development by APRIL and its suppliers on forested peatland.” Based on analysis using satellite imagery, this report documents extensive deforestation, including clearance of forests on peatlands, in the concession area of PT Adindo Hutani Lestari (Adindo), one of APRIL’s top five wood suppliers, during the period June 3, 2015 – August 31, 2020. These findings represent significant violations of both APRIL’s and RGE Group’s commitments to stop new development on forested peatlands – and more broadly, they challenge the integrity of the groups’ “no deforestation” pledge. Read more.

Sustainability Default

Buyers and banks’ ineffective control policies allow paper giant APP to neglect forest conservation commitments.

November 2020.

In 2013, after years of destroying rainforest and harming local communities, Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) asked for a fresh start committing to responsible environmental and social standards. Seven years into the commitment, APP appears to have moved away from wholesale destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests within its own concession areas. But this solves only half the problem. APP  is refusing to recognise and respect the customary rights of communities to lands within their concession areas and failing to implement effective grievance and conflict resolution mechanisms or deliver meaningful remedies to communities affected by its plantations. APP has also failed to restore and remediate vast areas of forests and peatlands harmed during the establishment of its industrial-scale pulpwood plantations. Read more.


Defaulting on Social Conflict Resolution

Indonesian Pulp & Paper Industry May Be Exposed to USD 1-10 Billion In Social Compensation Risk.

May 2020

Pulp & paper is a large contributor to agrarian conflicts in Indonesia, with around 350,000 hectares (ha) affected, or around 10 percent of the total pulpwood plantation area. Impacts on communities include loss of land, loss of livelihoods, criminalisation and violence. Read more.

Papering Over Reality and Risk in Uruguay

Forest and bioenergy company UPM-Kymmene Oyj, and its claims of social and environmental leadership.

March 2020

This briefing discusses the social and environmental risks associated with the company UPM Kymmene Oyj (UPM) and its operations in Uruguay highling the importance of strong social and environmental risk management policies and close scrutiny of individual investments. The Finnish company is one of the world’s largest producers of pulp and bioenergy, producing in 12 countries and with forestry operations in Finland and Uruguay. Read more.

How UNFCCC carbon accounting has created a biomass delusion and is contributing to climate change and global inequity.

Burning wood (biomass) in huge volumes for energy releases greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. In fact, burning wood for energy produces at least as much CO2 as burning coal per unit of energy produced, and usually more. Read briefing in English, Spanish and French

Co-firing with biomass in Indonesia: Debunking Emission Reduction Claims.

Co-firing coal with biomass in power stations is claimed by Indonesia’s state electricity company (PT PLN) to be a necessary part of the country’s transition to renewable energy. Currently, 52 coal power stations plan to co-fire with 5-10% biomass in order to meet the countries Nationally Determined Contributions, as outlined by the Paris Agreement. Read more


In the Red 2020: An Online Resource with Ongoing Assessment of Bank Policies for Financing Pulp and Paper




Conflict Plantations Chapter 2: Revealing Asia Pacific Resources International Limited’s Trail of Disputes Across Indonesia: November 2019




Conflict Plantations Chapter 1: Revealing Asia Pulp and Paper’s Trail of Disputes Across Indonesia: October 2019




Industrial Tree Plantations and Green Bonds: Investor Briefing: May 2019




Risky Biomass Business: The reputational and financial risks of investing in forest biomass energy




Are Forests the New Coal?: A global threat map of bioenergy development





North American Reducing Consumption Initiative: Year One Report: Four Projects Offering Solutions to the Wasteful Overconsumption of Paper




The Paper Use Playbook: How professional and collegiate sports teams, leagues and venues can improve their environmental performance on paper use




In the Red: An Assessment of Bank Policies for Financing Pulp and Paper





Paperwork: Why recycled content is crucial for printing and writing paper





Paper Steps On Campus: 9 Steps to Protecting the Climate and Reducing Waste Through Campus Paper Policies




Recovered Office Paper: A comprehensive guide for office managers and others to improve and increase office paper recovery





Fact Sheets


Recycled Paper Fact Sheet: Paper to Protect the Planet: Understanding how recycled content in printing & writing paper – and all grades – reduces energy, water, chemical use, pollution and solid waste, while protecting forests.



Carbon Neutral Paper: Fact or Fiction?