Wood and non-wood pulp production: Comparative ecological footprinting on the Canadian prairies

Meidad Kissinger, Jennifer Fix, William E. Rees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Pulp production accounts for a major part of the Canadian forest industry. Because of the ecological damage caused by the industry, there has been growing interest in the use of agricultural residues as an alternative or supplementary fibre source for pulp making. The purpose of this study is to determine whether the use of crop residues has the potential to reduce the environmental 'load' associated with pulp production. We answer this question by estimating and comparing the ecological footprints of the currently dominant practice of using spruce and aspen harvested from the boreal forest, with the practice of using plant fibre from the residue of wheat and flax crops commonly grown in the Canadian prairie provinces. The analysis accounts for all major land and energy inputs associated with the two production processes. The study results indicate that the ecological load of pulp production varies among resources and provinces. However, overall, the total eco-footprint of pulped wheat straw is the smallest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-558
Number of pages7
JournalEcological Economics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 15 May 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Agricultural residues
  • Carbon sink
  • Ecological Footprint Analysis
  • Energy flows
  • Forestry
  • Material flows
  • Pulp production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (all)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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