Victory! Wetlands was one of many local groups that supported a
national campaign to reform Staples' environmental practices....
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
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
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
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
Please visit www.ThePaperCampaign.com for more information.
For additional information on the campaign contact:
Todd Paglia, ForestEthics
Trevor Fitzgibbon, Dogwood Alliance.