Activists Face Off with OfficeMax Executives at Credit Suisse Conference in New York City
Groups Question Company's Lack of Commitment to the Worlds Endangered Forests
On June 14, 2006, OfficeMax executives scheduled to speak at the Credit Suisse Consumer and Retail Conference in New York City were met with a surprise demonstration outside the conference led by community activists. Protestors who were denied access to the invitation only event were on hand to call on the company to make an environmental commitment that meets or beats its rivals, Staples and Office Depot, whom were also participating in the conference.
Environmentalists are upset because OfficeMax lacks a clear policy on protecting endangered forests, such as important areas in the Cumberland Plateau and Southern Appalachian region and the Boreal Forest of Canada. The company also continues to purchase paper products from companies that convert natural forests to pine plantations a practice that has destroyed millions of acres of diverse, natural forests across the Southern US. OfficeMax is one of the worlds largest retailers of paper products.
"We are here today to send a loud and clear message to OfficeMax executives that the company can and must take action to protect the worlds endangered forests," said Adam Weissman of the Wetlands Activism Collective. "As long as OfficeMax continues this destructive trend we will continue to face off against the company across North America."
OfficeMax continues to remain at a competitive disadvantage to its rivals Staples (NasdaqNM: SPLS) and Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) who have both embraced demand for environmentally-friendly paper products, including dramatically increasing recycled products for sale at their stores and working towards the end of sourcing of paper products from the worlds endangered forests.
OfficeMax's failure to commit to protecting the worlds endangered forests, including the majestic hardwood forests of the Cumberland Plateau in the Southern United States, has left the company at a competitive disadvantage, said Eva Hernandez, Campaign Organizer at Dogwood Alliance. While its main rivals, Staples and Office Depot, have taken action, OfficeMax continues to lag behind as more of our endangered forests continue to be logged to make paper sold at its stores.
The campaign is calling on OfficeMax to:
* Stop purchasing paper from endangered forests, including endangered forests of the Southern U.S. and Canadian Boreal.
* Achieve a 30% average in post-consumer recycled content for all paper grades that OfficeMax sells.
* Reduce demand for virgin fiber by phasing out all sales of 100% virgin paper and reduce paper use in its internal operations.
* Stop sourcing paper from suppliers that convert natural forests to industrial pine plantations.
# # #
Dogwood Alliance is a network of over seventy organizations around the Southern United States working to end unsustainable industrial forestry practices. For more information about Dogwood Alliance and the OfficeMax campaign, click here .
Wetlands Activism Collective recognizes the common roots of all forms of oppression and fights for human, earth, and animal liberation through protest, direct action, street theater, political advocacy, and public education.