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ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division - Pushing for Responsible Forestry

Pushing for Responsible Forestry


Feb 11 2016

Striving for responsible forestry, and to ensure that the forest eco-system is protected from further damage, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was established in 1993. An independent, not-for-profit NGO was formed to look at global de-forestation and help create awareness about responsible management of forests. 

 
And among a few others in India, ITC Paperboards and Speciality Papers Division was one of the initial companies to be certified by FSC.
 

Going back in time ITC’s journey towards benefitting farmers and bringing a large area of forest land to be FSC certified did not happen overnight. After it established itself back in 1976 in Bhadrachalam, which was one of the most backward districts in the country back then, it gained the trust of local farmers, helped them benefit socially and economically and eventually went forward to get certified by FSC. “It all started 30 years ago when there was extreme shortage of paper and paper boards in the country. The import duties were about 200 per cent,” recalls Sanjay K Singh, divisional chief executive from ITC Limited.

 

The then Andhra Pradesh Government invited ITC to put up a mill. Going by the consumption of wood, they soon realised that the forests won’t last long. “Not just because of the way we were using it, but many others.  Then we decided to do something on our own and subsequemtly we started conal propagation of eucalyptus,” explains Sanjay.

 

The idea of responsible forestry too was gaining momentum. “Demand for products that are the outcome of responsible forestry started only a few years ago, but we started responsible forestry plantations of eucalyptus 30 years ago,” adds Suneel Pandey, vice-president of ITC PSPD Division.

 

In 1992, they started with a mere 17 hectares and it took five years for farmers to understand that they will benefit from it. “Over a period of time, we scaled it and reached a point where close to 28,700 farmers are benefitting from it,” says Sanjay. 

Registered Office: ITC LIMITED, 37 J. L. Nehru Road, Kolkata - 700071, India Ph: +91-33-22889371 | Corporate Identity Number: L16005WB1910PLC001985