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Apple has announced that the Forest Stewardship Council, an organisation which is responsible for drawing up eco-friendly standards for forestry, has certified nearly 320,000 acres of functioning forest for support in China.
With this latest certification, Apple has now created or is protecting sufficient acres of sustainable forest to counterbalance the fibre it uses for its product packaging. The tech firm also helps to protect virgin fibre by using higher ratios of recycled paper in its products and by making package designs smaller.
Apple said in an email that around 67 per cent of the recently certified forest was in Hunan province and was owned and managed by Maoyuan Forestry. The rest is located in the Guangxi region and was under the management of the state-owned Qinlian Forestry Company.
A different report released by Environmental Leader points out that the World Wildlife Fund cooperated with both firms to obtain FSC certification by introducing forest management programs and training workers in the identification of high conservation value forests.
Apple’s forestry program in China, a joint project with the WWF, started two years ago as part of a pledge to transitioning or establishing at least one million acres of responsibly managed forest in five years. The firm said its first aim of growing the current land area of these forests by 300,000 acres was achieved within two years.
Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Social Initiatives and Policy, Lisa Jackson, said China’s soil was very fertile for eco-friendly programs. She added: “We found that the Chinese were willing to be wonderful partners, both on the private and public sector side because they have a real appreciation for the forest resource.”
Apple also bought 36,000 acres of vulnerable forested land in North Carolina and Maine in 2015, with the March 2017 yields reaching a 100 per cent carbon-neutral level.