Office Depot Commits to Stop Destroying Endangered Forests!
When Office Depot released an environmental policy on Earth Day of last year that failed to provide protection for endangered forests, a grassroots campaign was launched. The announcement by Office Depot of a revised environmental policy is the successful result of a year-long grassroots effort challenging the company to make a clear policy commitment to protect endangered forests!
In its revised policy, Office Depot seeks to influence the conservation of forests and biodiversity through using its purchasing power to influence its suppliers (the timber companies).
Office Depot has commited to:
- Identify endangered forests, including forests that are rare and vulnerable, contain exceptional biodiversity values, are subject to unsustainable management, or where illegal logging is occurring
- Engage in landscape level conservation planning, including the establishment of ecological reserves
- Work with its suppliers to end the conversion of natural forests to plantations
- Work with its suppliers to prevent the use of genetically modified trees
- Increase its overall post-consumer recycled content to at least 30%
Over the past year, activists held over a hundred demonstrations on two days of actions, made hundreds of phone calls, sent thousands of postcards, been unwelcome guests at CEO Bruce Nelson public appearances, sent the company an international coalition letter calling for the protection of endangered forests, signed by over 200 organizations, critiqued Office Depot's policy at the Office Products International conference, engaged in shareholder advocacy led by Calvert, Green Century Funds, Trillium, and As You Sow, and spread information about the campaign in a 20 city tour about forest protection.
Office Depot revised its environmental paper policy, and all involved should take a moment to celebrate your victory for the forests!
The next phase of the campaign is to watchdog the implementation of Office Depot's purchasing practices to ensure that Office Depot's commitment results in protections for forests on the ground, including in the Southern U.S., the Canadian Boreal, and endangered US national forests. We need your help so we can hold Office Depot to this policy.
The step taken by Office Depot, in combination with many other corporate commitments, is part of a broader effort to transform the paper industry away from the destruction of endangered forests, practices of over harvesting, and the conversion of natural forests to plantations and toward ecologically sound paper alternatives such as post-consumer recycled content and agricultural waste.
Thanks again for all of your work for the forests!
Wetlands joined the Paper Campaign in making this victory possible, a coalition including:
American Lands Alliance, Dogwood Alliance, Katuah Earth First!, ForestEthics, Green Corps, Ecopledge, Sierra Student Coalition, Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, Free the Planet!, Heartwood, National Forest Protection Alliance, Kentucky Heartwood, Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Relief, ReThink Paper, Student Environmental Action Coalition, Iowa STEP, Shenendoah Ecosystem Defense Group, Indiana Forest Alliance and many local groups.
To read Office Depot's new policy, visit
Wetlands Office Depot Action Timeline:
2000 – Dogwood Alliance and ForestEthics launched the Paper Campaign calling on the office supply industry to stop selling paper originating from endangered forests or that was sourced using unsustainable forestry practices, and to dramatically increase recycled paper products sold in their stores.
2002 – Staples announced a trend-setting environmental paper procurement policy.
2003 – Paper Campaign targets Office Depot.
April 24th, 2003: Wetlands holds our first protest at Office Depot at their Manhattan store, as part of a national day of protest called by The Paper Campaign. We also protested Office Max in Brooklyn. (more)
September 4th, 2003: Office Depot CEO Bruce Nelson’s speech at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference is interrupted by activists from Wetlands and Rainforest Relief, holding a banner reading, "Office Depot Destroys Forests" and passing out leaflets arguing that Office Depot is a a questionable investment. (more)
October 8th, 2003: As part of the 2nd national day of protest against Office Depot, Wetlands joins Rainforest Relief for a protest and in-store disruption--joined by a wolf disturbed by the loss of his forest habitat. (more)
• 2004 – Office Depot announced its own environmental paper procurement policy. Boise also announced an environmental policy. Boise purchases OfficeMax. Dogwood Alliance suspends the campaign based on positive negotiations with the company, in order to give them time for reorganization.
To learn more about the victory, visit Dogwood Alliance's Office Depot victory page.