Environmental Paper Company Index 2019

EPCI 2019

WWF assessed 3 companies that chose not to voluntarily participate from the list of invited companies:  Daio Paper Corporation, Lee&Man Paper Manufacturing, and Nine Dragons Paper Holding. These three companies were selected on their production capacity, geographic scope and footprint. The importance of the Chinese and Japanese paper markets in terms of production, consumption and trade of paper products was also an important factor. This page offers a  narrative description of the EPCI questions, highlights strengths, opportunities for improvements and information gaps for each of these companies, based on publicly disclosed information. However, as these three companies did not voluntarily take part in the Index, we are unable to present EPCI scores in the same way as those that participated.

Lee&Man Paper Manufacturing and Nine Dragons Paper Holding are the first Chinese companies represented in the Index. Their inclusion is particularly important for the role China plays as a manufacturing hub.  Daio Paper is the second Japanese company included, since  Nippon Paper responded to the EPCI 2019.

The importance of China and Japan

When it comes to making a better future for global forests, both China and Japan have a vital role to play in their region. Chinese and Japanese companies can and should take up a crucial role in improving forest practices in key deforestation fronts.  Indonesian tropical forests are a prime example with both countries being key markets for pulp and paper products and buyers of Indonesian wood products. Many pulp, paper and packaging producers purchase from the region, including still from companies such as Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) that are being monitored for meeting their own commitments to ending unacceptable forest practices, including the conversion of natural forest. Both companies are currently disassociated from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). WWF recommendations to pulp and paper buyers can be found here.

The influence of more players on Indonesian, as well as other supplying producers, to show improved and sustainable practices, especially from those with historic records of forest destruction, is critical to advancing compensatory restoration and conservation actions by these Indonesian based producers and for bringing the sector to a more consistent performance level on sustainability. As modern businesses, these companies should be investing in the steps necessary to deliver sustainable business, and proud to show their performance to their peer companies through improved business transparency in the areas that the EPCI assesses.

Overall Conclusions and Recommendations

With this analysis WWF encourages the three companies to disclose information and become more transparent in their operations. As for responsible sourcing, although all three companies have clear public policies on unacceptable sources, there is no information on certified sources. WWF incites the three companies to disclose their sources by certification status, particularly FSC certified, recycled and FSC Controlled Wood.

On clean manufacturing, all the reports offer some data, but the information varies in terms of details, depending on the company and the indicators. Through the EPCI 2019, WWF spurs companies to be more transparent in their reports.

As for Transparency and Environmental Management Systems (EMS), ISO 14001 and FSC Chain of Custody (COC) Certification are mentioned by all three companies but the level of detail varies. However,  improvements are needed as their reports often lack quantitative data or are not specific enough  (e.g. the number of mills certified compared to the total).

WWF welcomes the efforts of the companies to avoid virgin fibers. We  believe that Chinese and Japanese companies have a great opportunity to take up a leading role in driving changes in the sector by supporting responsible forest management, clean manufacturing and transparency in reporting, while at the same time being able to differentiate between responsible and irresponsible players.

WWF invites Daio Paper Corporation, Lee&Man Paper Manufacturing and Nine Dragons Paper Holding to engage with the organisation and discuss these findings and the improvements that can be made.