Stockholm, Sweden — Shopping online may be convenient and time-saving, but it comes with a price. According to a new report by Greenpeace Sweden, Amazon, Zalando, HelloFresh and other big players are connected to the destruction of old-growth forests in Sweden. The report illustrates how the increased demand for throwaway products like packaging paper and cardboard for shipping products bought online fuels nature destruction and harms Indigenous People’s rights. Greenpeace urges companies to clean up their supply chains and actively support stronger EU nature protection regulation, before Europe’s last remaining unprotected old-growth forests are gone for good.

Erika Bjureby, Programme Manager at Greenpeace Sweden, said: “I have lived in the Amazon rainforest, and I see a lot of similarities to what is happening right now in Swedish forests. We are destroying some of Europe’s most important ecosystems to produce throwaway products like cardboard. It is absurd. To stop this, big players in the e-commerce sector must  ensure that their suppliers stop providing them with raw material that originates from clear-cut old-growth forests. They must shift towards reusable shipping solutions and encourage the EU to protect these precious ecosystems before it’s too late.”

Online shopping is booming, with the e-commerce sector being a major user of cardboard to package and ship their products. According to the Swedish Forest Industries, in 2022, more than 60 percent of all timber in Sweden was turned into paper products. The new Greenpeace Sweden report illustrates how this is becoming a big threat to Swedish old-growth forests, which are crucial for biodiversity, the climate and Europe’s only recognised Indigenous People, the Sámi.[1]

Through field investigations and the use of wood trackers, big players like Amazon, Zalando and HelloFresh, together with about a hundred other companies, have been connected to suppliers linked to the destruction of valuable Swedish forests. Their supply chains are linked to Swedish pulp mills which are responsible for the destruction of several old-growth forests, according to the investigations carried out by Greenpeace Sweden. This inevitably means that companies tied to these pulp mills are exposed to the risk of selling their products in packaging that has been made from clearcutting of some of Europe’s last remaining precious old-growth forests that should be protected according to the EU’s biodiversity strategy, the report concludes.

“The number of companies we have discovered with links to destroying vital old forests indicates how systemic this problem is. Although Swedish pulp and paper producers claim that they don’t source any material from unsustainably logged forests, our report shows that they don’t live up to these words and mislead their customers. Clearcutting is the dominant harvesting method used in Sweden and the authorities say themselves that they have no option to investigate all logging areas, which allows old-growth forests to be destroyed and turned into single-use products like cardboard. The companies need to be aware of this and act accordingly,” added Bjureby.

Greenpeace encourages companies, especially those tied to the e-commerce sector, to:

  • Clean up their supply chain to exclude old-growth forest raw material
  • Actively support stronger EU nature-protection regulation to ensure that they do not get locked into the same problems in the future
  • Work towards eliminating the use of single-use packaging


Photos and video from the investigations in Swedish forests can be accessed from the Greenpeace Media Library.


[1] EPRS (2020). International Year of Indigenous Languages –Sami people and languages in the EU, European Parliamentary Research Service, January 2020 


Christopher Engberg Dahl, Communications Officer, Greenpeace Sweden, [email protected], +46791421453

Greenpeace International Press Desk, +31 (0)20 718 2470 (available 24 hours), [email protected]

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