Saturday, October 28, 2006

That Takes Guts: International Paper CEO Refuses to Meet with Governor of Vermont

In a telling move about the power with which corporations hold sway over (or some might say prisoner) the US government, International Paper (NYSE: IP) refused to meet with Governor Jim Douglas of Vermont to discuss the proposed use of tires as fuel at the IP mill in Ticonderoga, NY on the NY/VT border.

The controversial project is set to begin on November 6th.

Residents of Vermont and nearly every elected official in the state have decried this project to no avail and it seems now that even the Governor will not convince the company.

To read the full story, go here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Activists Chain Themselves to Victoria's Secret Over Catalogs

On October 23rd in New York City, activists supporting the Victoria's Dirty Secret Campaign of ForestEthics chained themselves to the doors of a Victoria's Secret store. The two activists were drawing attention to Victoria's Secret's controversy catalog paper sourcing policies. Victoria's Secret sends out over a million catalogs a day and they are printed on paper from Endangered Forests like the Canadian Boreal.

Read about the action in the Village Voice

Watch it on CBS News

Thursday, October 26, 2006

International Paper Storms Russia

Yesterday, International Paper (NYSE: IP) announced the creation of a joint venture with Ilim Paper, the largest forest products company in Russia. IP will invest $1.2billion in the country, and the investment is focused on four pulp mills. The Russian Boreal is one of the most threatened forest regions in the world. Ilim Paper has been going through the process of getting FSC certified but it is unclear how this will continue based on IP's support of the North American greenwash certification system - the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

To Read More Details on the Merger, click here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Asia Pulp and Paper: Nasty as They Want to Be

A new report released last week details how one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies has broken numerous promises to protect forests in Indonesia, and is clearing forests in violation of Indonesian regulations.

“Anyone buying products from a company that sources illegally or from the clearing of high conservation value forests is contributing to the devastating loss of rainforests in Indonesia and pushing tigers, elephants and other wildlife closer to extinction” said Nazir Foead, WWF-Indonesia's Director of Policy & Corporate Engagement.

If you are buying products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), like many who supply paper products in the United States, Europe, Japan and elsewhere are, you are participating in one of the most heartbreaking forest tragedies of our day happening right now in Indonsesia.

Additional clearing and burning of these forest will only further fuel the growing problem of climate change from a country that already ranks in the top five in the world of greenhouse gas emitters. The smoke and haze resulting from the uncontrolled burning of Indonesian rainforests this year has again sparked international tensions, halted air travel, created a public health crisis, and slowed tourism across the region.

WWF is calling on pulp and paper producers and buyers to avoid APP and other suppliers who use wood fiber from illegal sources and clear forests with a high conservation value. Some companies, like the Ricoh Group and Fuji Xerox Group, both headquartered in Japan, have stopped purchasing APP products.

Get all the details from WWF here....

Monday, October 23, 2006

Universal Music Group Rolls Out Enviro Friendly CD Cases

This weekend, Universal Music Group announced plans to roll out a new fully recyclable cd sleeve and case. The sleeve will be made of recycled paperboard and the case will be made from paper foam that is biodegradable and recyclable. The special cases will be used exclusively with the Millenium Collection, a "best-of" series produced by UMG.

Universal is the parent company of such important music labels as Geffen, Verve, Mercury, Motown, Interscope, Island and Def Jam. Let's hope that they choose to use this technology with all of their products, not just a special "best-of" series.

Read the full story here...

World Bank To Fund Pulp Mill Project?

The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency announced that they will ask their Boards of Directors to approve IFC financing and MIGA guarantee support for Oy-Metsa Botnia’s Orion pulp mill project in Uruguay.

Despite the environmental degradation and social conflict produced by two pulp mills on the Uruguayan/Argentine border, the World Bank in its revised cumulative impact study has determined that the Orion pulp mill project will "comply with IFC and MIGA's environmental and social policies while generating significant economic benefits for the Uruguayan economy."

The other side of the story from conservationists and local citizens...(Spanish)

More from the World Bank....

Vermont Governor Appeals to IP to Stop Hazardous Tire Burn

Vermont Governor James Douglas appealed to International Paper (NYSE: IP) CEO John Faraci to intervene on behalf of the people of Vermont in respect to the proposed use of burning tires as a source of fuel at the IP Ticonderoga (NY) paper mill.

This controversial burn has the potential to open the floodgates to the use of tires as fuel and reduce hard fought clean air protections.

To read the full story visit:

Genetically Engineered Trees - no thanks!

The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity is calling for comments and views on the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) trees on forests and natural ecosystems, indigenous peoples, peasants, local communities and small-scale farmers, woodlot owners, women or children. Current research on 'Frankentrees' includes genetic engineering to produce trees with reduced lignin and higher cellulose content for paper production. Some of the world's biggest paper industries, such as International Paper, Stora Enso, Nippon Paper Industries, Mitsubishi, Oji Paper and Aracruz Cellulose are involved in this research, as are many government research institutes and forestry agencies.

For more information on GE trees see and
For debate on the topic see

The deadline for comments to the UN is November 30. They should be sent to:
Dr. Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary
Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
413 Saint-Jacques Street, Suite 800
Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1N9 Canada
Please also send a blind cc (bcc) of your written comments to
If you would like help with this process or have questions, contact:

Friday, October 20, 2006

Argentine Citizens Block Bridge Again to Protest Pulp Mills

Argentine environmentalists protesting against the building of pulp mills in Uruguay lifted late Sunday, October 15, the two days roadblock of a route leading to the neighboring country but warned that new “actions” can be expected in the near future.

Read the full story here...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

West Fraser: the key word is deficient

West Faser, one Canada's biggest loggers and suppliers of market pulp to world markets, was caught with 'deficient' equipment to contain spills, according to this report in HazMat magazine. The fine is $100,000 (Canadian dollars).

The whole story is here.

West Fraser is a dinosaur company that endangers wildlife in many ways... pollution, logging of Endangered Forests, you name it. For other impacts by West Fraser, check out ForestEthics report "Staring at Extinction: Mountain Caribou in British Columbia."

Monday, October 16, 2006

International Paper Sells Beverage Packaging Unit

In another big move for North America's largest paper manufacturer, International Paper (NYSE: IP) announced the sale of its beverage packaging unit to New Zealand based Carter Holt Harvey, a former partner of IP's in ArborGen the world's leading genetically engineered trees R&D company.
This sale focuses on the company's mill in Pine Bluff, AR which produces 1/4 of the world's beverage packaging and continues a trend in divestment by the company to allow the company to focus on uncoated packaging and printing and writing paper.

Read the story at:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Responsible Wrapping Paper + Holiday Cards

It's still a couple months until the winter holidays, but its never too early to get ready. Again this year, Conservatree has developed an easy online guide to help find lots of responsible holiday cards and wrapping paper that are environmentally conscious. Spread the word about this tool to everyone you know who wants to celebrate this season with a lighter footprint on the planet.

A Tale of Two Pulp Mills

From the Associated Press: Argentine opponents of Uruguayan pulp mill projects that have strained ties between the South American neighbors have vowed to resume border bridge blockades this weekend even as the government of President Nestor Kirchner urged calm Wednesday.

Some 800 activists voted late Tuesday to blockade two of three international bridges to renew attention to its claim that the planned wood pulp plants will contaminate farmland and tourist areas in northeastern Argentina.

Read the story...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Southern Forests & the Packaging Problem

According to the University of Georgia’s Center for Paper Business and Industry Studies, in the 13 states that make up the US Forest Service’s Southern Region there are 96 mills producing paper packaging. As far as impact to the South, one big player rises to the top.

Giant pulp and paper manufacturer International Paper owns 5 container board mills and 4 additional consumer paper packaging mills across the south including the 876,000 tons of paperboard per year Riegelwood Mill near Wilmington, North Carolina, the 650,000 tons of paperboard per year Augusta Mill located in Augusta, Georgia, the 620,000 tons of paperboard per year Texarkana Mill located in Texarkana, Texas, and the 400,000 tons per year Pine Bluff Mill located in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. At this volume, and with current insufficient logging standards, the impact is a growing problem.

Learn more about the packaging problem for the forests of the Southern US

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Scoring European Tissue Paper

Gland, Switzerland - While some of Europe's leading tissue manufacturers have made improvements to their environmental performances, many gaps remain.

As part of its annual environmental performance assessment, five "giant" tissue manufacturers that make up 75 per cent of the European market - Georgia-Pacific, Kimberly-Clark, Metsa Tissue, Procter & Gamble and SCA Tissue - were scored by WWF across a range of criteria, including their levels of recycled content, wood sourcing practices, pollution control and transparency.

This year, two of the five companies achieved a score of over 50 per cent, compared with none in 2005. Metsa Tissue received a 53 per cent score, while SCA Tissue achieved 69 per cent, the only company to get a "green mark".

For more info and full list of scores click here....

High Seas GE Trees Protest

Charleston, South Carolina, October 9, 2006, alongside the outing to Fort Sumter by participants in the ArborGen sponsored plantations conference.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Genetically Engineered Trees ?!?!

One of the biggest threats to native forests that no one knows about is the development of genetically engineered trees. As in food crops, this technology poses tremendous threats, and extensive information about its hazards specific to trees and forests is available at the website of the Stop GE Trees Campaign.

This week in Charleston, S.C., October 10-13 the International Union of Forest Research Organizations hosts a paper industry conference entitled, "Sustainable Forest Management with Fast Growing Plantations." One of the sponsors of this conference is locally based bio-technology firm ArborGen, a joint venture of International Paper, MeadWestVaCo, and others. ArborGen has acquired 126 permits to conduct field tests of genetically engineered trees, most of them in South Carolina.

The Stop GE Trees Campaign organized an alternative forum on October 8-9 to educate the local community on ArborGen and GE trees. Delegates from the campaign will also be presenting a paper at the conference presenting the latest relevant research and advocating for the use of the precautionary principle in approaching this technology.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Buy Better Stuff for Your Green Office

One of the coolest things about 2006 is the proliferation of easy opportunities to buy the eco-friendly items we all want in our hearts to buy but often find easy excuses to not, such as "its too hard to find." Well here are two new websites that provide easy shopping for all the environmentally friendly products your office could ever need.

The Green Office

The Recycled Products Purchasing Cooperative

Were You Aware?

That this is National Junk Mail Awareness Week organized by the Center for a New American Dream? And were you aware that more than 100 million trees’ worth of bulk mail arrive in American mail boxes each year – that’s the equivalent of deforesting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months.

During the first annual Junk Mail Awareness Week (October 1-7), which coincides with the peak of junk mail season and the third anniversary of the implementation of the federal Do Not Call registry, New American Dream and their partners will draw national attention to tools that give Americans control over their private mail boxes. 3 states have already initiated legislative efforts to make it easier to opt-out of junk mail and momentum is building for Congress to act.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rally Against Pulp Mill in Tasmania

On September 16, approximately 8000 people marched through the streets of Launceston, Tasmania, Australia to rally against the Gunns' planned pulp mill.

The pulp mill is proposed for the Tamar River near Bell Bay in northern Tasmania. If it proceeds the mill will eventually consume 4 million tonnes of logs each year.

“Today’s fantastic turn-out is a show of strength against the pulp mill which will pollute the air and sea and devastate our native forests if it goes ahead,” said Geoff Law

See a short video of the rally.....

More on this issue here....

Boreal Business

An economists' new report lends an economic accounting to the "value" of a primary zone of pulp and paper production. Forests in northern nations such as Russia and Canada are worth US$250 billion a year because of services they provide by purifying water or soaking up greenhouse gases, a researcher said on Tuesday from the National Forest Congress in Ottowa, Canada.

Read more on this story....

Ready with a management and conservation solution at the Congress were 60 businesses who put forward their support for the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework,
- a balanced vision for conservation and sustainable development in Canada 's Boreal forest.

Read more on this story....

Hemp on Hold at French Mill

Workers at Stora Enso's mill in Corbehem, France who had been laid off earlier this year when two machines were shut down, marched this week to protest Stora Enso backing out on a deal to sell the two machines to a company called Green Recovery. Green Recovery planned to rehire 180 workers, and add 100 jobs running a machine to produce hemp paper for Europe. The workers protested in front of the Finnish and Swedish embassies.