Keeping Forestland Forested

We recognize that encouraging responsible stewardship is one of the keys to protecting global forestlands and ensuring a sustainable supply of wood fiber for our business needs.

Global Fiber Procurement Policy

The fiber used to make our products comes from responsibly managed sources. We will not knowingly accept fiber from illegally logged forests or from forests where high conservation values are threatened by management activities.

Globally, we follow a Certification Policy and a Responsible Fiber Procurement Policy that address responsible fiber procurement and forest and fiber certification practices through recognition of credible third-party standards. These include the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and national standards recognized by PEFC like the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) in the U.S. and Certificacão Florestal (CERFLOR) in Brazil. All of the forestland we lease, own or manage in Brazil and Russia is certified according to national or international forest management standards.

Fiber Certification

International Paper uses credible third-party certification to verify responsible forest management. Our practice of sourcing fiber from well-managed forests promotes the long-term health and productivity of forests.

More than 90 percent of International Paper’s fiber supply in the United States comes from privately owned forests, most of which are small and family-owned. Developing new sources of third-party-certified fiber is not easy. Landowners can be reluctant to take on the additional responsibility and costs associated with certifying their property. Our strategy relies on working directly with suppliers and landowners to encourage them to make this investment, and we deploy significant resources in this effort. Professional foresters and wildlife biologists from International Paper provide technical support to suppliers and landowners on developing forest management plans required for certification audits.

Responsible forest management and fiber sourcing practices can be verified by third-party certifiers to a number of independent standards. Third-party experts verify a company's performance against a set of objectives detailed in the standards. The following are three types of certifications:

  • Forest Management — Certification of the activities of land management – harvesting to reforestation
  • Fiber Procurement — A certification offered by SFI®, which includes the responsible purchasing of timber and contracting for harvesting and transportation. This standard provides an assurance that risk in the supply chain is mitigated within sourcing.
  • Chain of Custody — Certification that verifies that policies, systems and procedures are in place to track wood fiber from the forest, through the manufacturing and converting processes and then to customers. All of International Paper’s pulp and paper mills and many of our converting operations are now CoC-certified to one or more recognized standards.

We follow a Fiber Certification Policy that accepts globally recognized forest management standards.These include the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and standards recognized by PEFC including the American Tree Farm System® (ATFS)and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) in the United States and the Brazilian National Forest Certification Program, Certificacão Florestal (CERFLOR), in Brazil.

Globally, we own approximately 329,000 acres of forestland in Brazil and have, through licenses and forest management agreements, harvesting rights on government-owned forestland in Russia. All the forestland we own in Brazil is certified under CERFLOR and FSC standards. Our forestland leased in Russia is also certified according to international forest management standards. Additionally, all our mills globally are certified to one or more third-party chain of custody standards.We work with landowners and wood suppliers to advance credible third-party forest certifications to improve our percentage of certified fiber.


Fiber Certification

Vision 2020 Goal

Progress: 47% increase in certified fiber volume

Stated Goal: Increase third-party certified fiber by 35% 

2019 Total Certified Percentage

North America
Total Certified: 32%
FSC: 3%
PEFC: 29%
Total Certified: 63%
FSC: 37%
PEFC: 26%
Total Certified: 80%
FSC: 80%
Total Certified: 38%
FSC: 12%
PEFC: 26%

Note: Dual certified lands are reported as FSC