A number of industries are facing increasing pressure because of the rising awareness that humanity needs both carbon sinks, carbon based building material and fibres, and breathable oxygen. We’ve become accustomed to seeing media reports and social media awareness campaigns involving protests, blockades and divestment.
The exacerbation of global warming as a result of the emission of greenhouse gases has become an urgent issue in recent years. The Company is helping to address this issue through expansion of well managed forest and paper production with low energy consumption, and well as the recycling of waste materials. Specifically, thanks to its afforestation activities, the acreage of new forest planted overseas by the Company — compared to its total paper production volume — is one of the highest among the world’s papermakers.
Fortunately we don’t have to wait 15 or 20 years for those forests to grow, to source pulp for paper making. Hemp matures in 90 days. A hectare of hemp takes 22 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere and turns it into carbohydrates, silky fibre and cellulose pulp. Partnerships between the world’s largest and most innovative paper companies and Australian hemp growers will see the Asian papers market opened to a range of new and sustainable products that are cleaner to produce and easier to recycle or compost.
Australian farmers already have huge export markets for rice and cotton. Exporting hemp pulp is a big growth market as well as ticking all the environmental interest boxes. The publicity alone is probably worth it.
Hemp seed has now been approved for human consumption by Food Standards Australia New Zealand, which was the approval PM Tony Abbott was waiting for before removing red tape. A couple of State Ministers voted to reject that FSANZ approval, they’ve now been replaced. Australia is open for business.