Ranpak, the FSC® and the Paper Packaging Lifecycle

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Saving the Planet Means Saving the Forests.

The world’s forests cover 31% of the planet and are home to 80% of land-based wildlife. Not only does the forest support a major share of life on earth, the trees and plants of the forest ecosystem act as carbon sinks, converting CO2 in the atmosphere back into the oxygen we breathe through the process of photosynthesis. This means that forests are also critical bastions against the effects of climate change.

The forest is part of our way of life. Globally, between 200-350 million people live within or adjacent to forests, relying on them to support their lifestyles and livelihoods. Many forests are home to indigenous communities who serve as stewards of these ecosystems, preserving cultures that may have existed for centuries, if not thousands of years. In many cases, indigenous peoples have unique partnerships with their natural environments and the plants and animals within them. Preserving the forests also means understanding and respecting the indigenous communities that rely on their relationships with the forest and learning from their management of natural land. Thanks to standards established by the Forest Stewardship Council®, Ranpak is participating in a movement to define and protect our global forest ecosystems as well as the people and cultures they support.

What is Sustainable Forestry Management?

Sustainable forestry management is a set of practices that allow for the bounty of the forest to be utilized while establishing safe limits for harvesting resources. Indigenous communities, private families, and other stakeholders of the forest must also be involved in the process of managing the forest so that their livelihoods and cultural heritage can be preserved. Globally, there are many agencies and non-profit groups that promote or support sustainable forestry practices. These groups serve as advocates, educators, and protectors of the forest and the ways of life that it sustains. Of these groups, the Forest Stewardship Council® is cited as the gold standard by NGOs including the Sierra Club and World Wildlife Fund for their use of multiple metrics of forest protection which include species and environmental protection, as well as economic and social protections for indigenous peoples.

An example of the FSC making a positive impact can be found in their 2019 rollout of new standards to protect the Canadian boreal forests, and the indigenous peoples who live on and around that habitat. By designating caribou as a benchmark species, as well as requiring protections for indigenous Canadians and environmentally friendly land development boundaries, the FSC has created a set of requirements that are designed to protect the forest environment and provide a label-bearing market place for ethically sourced forest products. These benchmark standards can now also serve as a model and template for application in other countries with large forested territories, exemplifying the positive influence that groups like the FSC can have on global forest protections.

The Story of Ranpak and the FSC®.

In 1972, Ranpak was founded with the express mission of providing a sustainable alternative to the use of plastics for secondary packaging applications. At the time, the most common packaging material for most secondary packaging applications was loose fill plastic. To address this problem, our founder George R. Johnson built the first PadPak™ converter machine in his garage with his father, allowing kraft paper to be converted into shock absorbing crinkled paper. With the ability to replace foam-in-place, bubble plastic wrap, air bags, and more, paper has been Ranpak’s exclusive focus ever since.

The Forest Stewardship Council first convened in 1993 in Toronto to respond to the pressing crisis of deforestation. The organization sets standards for responsible forestry management, creating guidelines that can be followed by forest stakeholders. Today, more than 550 million acres of forest are certified under FSC’s system, and the FSC operates within 80 countries around the world.

As our business has grown over the years, Ranpak has sought out partnerships with responsible suppliers and aligned ourselves with groups that promote sustainable forestry practices.

In March of 2021, Ranpak received a full chain of custody certification from the FSC® for 100% of our paper products within the EMEA region.

This represents the final step in deepening our partnership with the FSC, as we already purchase 100% of our paper globally from FSC certified mills.

Our chain of custody certification means that every link in a forest product’s lifecycle has been vetted and approved as meeting the standards of the FSC. This lifecycle is the journey from forest, to paper mill, all the way through the packaging process, to the point where our paper has completed its job of providing product protection and can be recycled. All of this is possible thanks to the definition of standards on the part of the FSC to create safe marketplaces for forest products, and the adoption of sustainable practices on the part of forest stakeholders.

Ranpak is proud to deepen our relationship with the FSC®. Together, we can Deliver a Better World.™