Velvet toilet paper linked to destruction of reindeer forest

Luxury Velvet toilet paper has been linked to the destruction of reindeer habitat in a new report.

The Greenpeace report – entitled Wiping out the boreal – accuses Essity, Velvet’s owner and the world’s second-largest toilet paper and tissue producer, of sourcing pulp from mills supplied by logging companies that are clear cutting some of the last remaining old-growth trees in the north of Sweden - a crucial habitat for 1,300 red-listed species such as the grey wolf, wolverine, lynx and Bechstein's bat.

Old-growth trees are natural reindeer grazing area, while the Great Northern Forest - the Boreal forest - is the world’s largest carbon storage, representing nearly one-third of all forest in the world, stretching from Alaska and Canada to northern Scandinavia, Finland, European Russia to Siberia and to the Pacific Ocean.

Velvet has been running its Three Trees Promise, a commitment to replace three trees for each one it uses, since 2009, but Greenpeace say the campaign is just "clever marketing".

Velvet markets itself as an environmentally sustainable company.

Jamie Woolley, Greenpeace UK forests campaigner, said: “Velvet’s ‘three tree promise’ suggests the company cares about the environment and sustainability. But its owner, Essity, is sourcing pulp from the last remain in gold growth Swedish forests, home to locally endangered species including wolves and lynx. It’s got to stop."

In response to the Greenpeace report, Essity reiterated their commitment to promoting sustainable forestry.

Forest at Grusryggarna in Sweden. Credit: Jari Stahl/Greenpeace

In a statement the company said: "All fresh wood fiber in our products is to be FSC or PEFC certified, or fulfill the FSC’s standard for controlled wood.

"The Forest Stewardship Council, an independent, international certification organization, promotes the environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

"Essity is engaged in dialog with Greenpeace regarding developments of responsible forestry and the integration of Intact Forest Landscapes into the FSC."