Canopy | 2023


Scaling next-generation solutions to save ancient forests

In 2021, the world lost more than 25 million hectares of forests — releasing 10 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas. Canopy will halt the escalating cycle of ancient forest loss by building production capacity and market demand for “next-generation” pulps.

Relevant Stats

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Canopy staff in front on a large tree



Every year, billions of trees are logged for wood pulp. Roughly half of them come from the world’s most biodiverse and carbon-rich Ancient and Endangered Forests. These trees are sent to energy-intensive mills to be cooked with chemicals into a pulp, which is then made into paper, packaging and viscose fabrics. Turning a rich forest ecosystem into a t-shirt or single-use shipping box is a devastating waste — releasing the greenhouse gasses they store into the atmosphere, endangering species and harming Indigenous communities. And yet, demand for these commodities keeps growing, with logging reaping substantial profits. This intensifies pressure on the world’s remaining forests and makes it impossible to limit global temperature rise to avoid the worst of climate impacts.

Big Idea

In this case, the market is the problem — and also the solution. By lowering the demand for wood pulp, the team at Canopy will protect the world’s ancient forests, while also fighting the climate and biodiversity crises. Low-impact, circular wood pulp alternatives, like those made from straw waste and recycled textiles, do exist — and these next-generation solutions are competitive in price and performance, while outperforming wood pulp across environmental metrics. ‘Next Gen pulps’ have 88 to 100% less land-use impact, at least five times lower impact on biodiversity and threatened species, and each ton of Next Gen pulp substituted for wood avoids four metric tons of carbon emissions on average. By catalyzing a critical mass of Next Gen pulp production, Canopy will significantly displace wood pulp sourced from climate-critical forests by 2029 — and, alongside other levers, eliminate all such sourcing by 2033. They will move the global pulp sector toward a tipping point where Next Gen becomes the norm.


Canopy drives sustained market change by working up and down the supply chain. They have already secured commitments to end sourcing from climate-critical forests from over 900 major companies — but for those brands to meet their goals, the pace of Next Gen pulp production must increase. By 2029, Canopy will bring 40 million tons of annual Next Gen pulp production online, using a range of strategies — from supporting innovators in scaling technologies, to helping secure capital for commercial-scale production, to encouraging mainstream producers to retrofit existing mills. They’ll show both brands and the public why this is so important, through rankings and smart communications. And continue to partner with Indigenous communities, supporting locally-led protection of critical forests. Through all these efforts, Canopy will change an entrenched industry — and avoid an astonishing 160 million metric tons in carbon emissions.

Why will it succeed?

Canopy was founded more than 20 years ago to help protect the world’s critical forests, by changing the purchasing of the world’s biggest paper customers. As part of shifting the publishing industry's forest and climate impacts, Canopy ‘greened’ the Harry Potter books in 24 countries. They have continued working globally with the CanopyStyle campaign — an effort to reduce the impacts of viscose textiles. As of 2022, more than 500 brands — including Amazon, Target, Walmart and H&M — had committed to stop using viscose sourced from Ancient and Endangered Forests, as had viscose producers representing over 88% of global production. Canopy has a parallel campaign focused on transforming the impacts of the massive packaging sector.

Project Impact

Recent Updates

forest forest


One Of the most critical environmental stories to have escaped the headlines

One Of the most critical environmental stories to have escaped the headlines

In late summer, Renewcell started making textiles from used clothes. The fashion industry, dependent on wood to make some fabrics, is driven to save ancient trees and endangered rainforests. The Swedish company will produce 60,000 tons of recycled clothing this year and double that next year. That’s the equivalent of recycling 300 million t-shirts.

October 22, 2022
H&M signageH&M signage

Wall Street Journal

Fashion giants vow to buy recycled fibers

Fashion giants vow to buy recycled fibers

Fashion companies are planning to buy more recycled fibers as part of a wider trend of businesses using their spending power to foster innovative, low-carbon suppliers. 

November 14, 2022

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