A number of firms from a variety of industry sectors, such as the Body Shop and Mountain Equipment Co-op, have already made a pledge to go ‘ancient-forest-free’, through a scheme run by the NGO, the Markets Initiative.

“As one third of all trees logged are used for paper production, we are delighted that Canadian publishers are taking action to protect ancient forests,” said Campaigns Director at the Markets Initiative Nicole Rycroft. Paper consumption is currently growing twice as fast as any other wood product sector, according to the organisation.

“We want to do our part towards stopping the destruction of old-growth forests,” said Vice President and General Manager of publishers McClelland & Stewart Ltd Krys Ross, one of the publishing companies taking the pledge. “Supporting this initiative is one step we can take towards ending global deforestation and climate change.”

Canadian author Timothy Findley has also applauded the decision to phase out the use of paper made from ancient forests. “Libraries are the home of our cultural heritage, holding the wisdom of generations. Ancient forests are nature’s library, home to our biological heritage, protecting species for the future,” said Findley. “We need not read every book to value a library. We need not harvest every tree to make books. Keep our ancient forests alive.”

The 20 publishing companies are: McClelland & Stewart; Douglas & McIntyre; Raincoast Books; Penguin Canada; Knopf Canada; Doubleday Canada; Random House Canada; Harbour Publishing; Arsenal Pulp Press; New Society Publishers; UBC Press, McGill-Queen’s Press; Heritage House; Groundwood Books; Tundra Books; Polestar; Greystone Books; Vintage Canada; Seal Canada; Macfarlane, Walter and Ross; and Anchor Canada.

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