Sydney Alternative Media - independent, community, non profit, trustworthy

Home ecology action
2003 - Office Supply Superstore Staples Inc. Agrees to Historic Endangered Forest, Recycling Policy

Read the following encouraging consumer demand side success story for forests and read more at

[eas: This report came in from the United States around 2003. Sorry original email gone]

Office Supply Superstore Staples Inc. Agrees to Historic Endangered Forest and Recycling Policy

Environmentalists End Two-Year Campaign

San Francisco, CA - The Staples Campaign, which involved celebrity support from the rock band R.E.M., more than 600 demonstrations at Staples stores nationwide, and tens of thousands of letters and calls to the company's CEO, is over following the office-supply giant's announcement today that it will meet The Paper Campaign's goal of moving the company towards environmentally- preferable paper sales. The Paper Campaign applauds Staples' move to set the standard in the office supply industry and is now looking to other paper retailers such as Office Max, Office Depot and Corporate Express to follow Staples' lead.

Under Staples' new guidelines, an industry first, the company will:

- Achieve an average of 30% post consumer recycled content across all paper products it sells
- Phase out purchases of paper products from Endangered Forests, including endangered areas of the Canadian Boreal forests, the Southern US, and US National Forests. The term 'Endangered Forests' is used to describe the most important areas of intact, native and old growth forests left on earth.
- Create an environmental affairs division and report annually on its environmental results.

This agreement is the culmination of a two-year effort by The Paper Campaign, a coalition of dozens of citizen groups dedicated to moving the marketplace out of endangered forests and towards recycled paper. The coalition is led by San Francisco's ForestEthics and the Dogwood Alliance, based in Asheville, NC.

"Staples' new policy is the beginning of the end of destroying endangered forests to make disposable paper products," said Todd Paglia, the director of The Paper Campaign for ForestEthics. "Staples' huge purchasing power will now become a force to protect endangered forests and increase the availability of recycled paper products. This is good news for consumers and businesses too, since the quality and price of recycled paper have never been better."

Danna Smith, Director of The Paper Campaign for Dogwood Alliance, added: "Staples' new policy is a big win for America's heritage forests in the Southern U.S., where paper production is destroying millions of acres of forests a year. Staples' announcement today creates a mandate from the marketplace for large paper producers like International Paper to rely more on
recycled fiber and less on destroying Southern forests."

The Fiber Baskets of the World
As logging has been reduced in many hi-profile regions around the world such as the Pacific Northwest, it has expanded in the Southern US and the Canadian Boreal forests. Five million acres of Southern forests, the most biologically diverse forests in North America, are being logged each year to produce 25% of the world's paper products and two-thirds of the paper made in the US.

International Paper and Georgia Pacific, the two primary loggers of Southern forests, are major suppliers to Staples. With recycled paper now comparable to virgin fiber in quality and price, moving away from cutting trees for paper is now practical for the industry and could yield immense conservation benefits. If all the paper mills in the South increased their recycled fiber use by 30%, 15 million acres of forests - an area comparable to all the forests in Tennessee - would be saved over the next ten years.

The endangered Boreal forest of Canada, one of the last truly wild places on earth and the world's second largest intact forest, is also being destroyed to make paper products. The Boreal is the breeding ground of 40% of North America's waterfowl and billions of migratory songbirds and hundreds of species including caribou, wolves and bears. Some of Staples' major suppliers, including Domtar, Xerox and Weyerhaeuser source fiber from Canada's boreal forest. Staples' historic agreement to phase out of sourcing from endangered forests sets the stage for the protection of this critical region for future generations.

In addition, endangered areas in US National Forests, such as the old growth forests in the Umqua National Forest in Oregon and the diverse hardwood forests in the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas continue to be logged for paper. As the Bush Administration rolls back environmental protections for U.S. National Forests, environmentalists applaud Staples' commitment to phase out products from endangered forests.

The Paper Campaign coalition partners include: American Lands Alliance, Cascadia Forest Alliance, Center for a New American Dream, Dogwood Alliance, Earth First!, ForestEthics, Green Corps, Ecopledge, Sierra Student Coalition, Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, Free the Planet, Heartwood, Native Forest Network, National Forest Protection Alliance, Kentucky Heartwood, Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Relief, ReThink Paper, Student Environmental Action Coalition, Wild Alabama, Iowa STEP, Shenendoah Ecosystem Defense Group, GrassRoots Recycling Network, Indiana Forest Alliance and many local groups.

Originally printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, which Staples now sells!

Enter supporting content here

non-profit media about your environment, in a human rights and social justice context