Companies active in the multi-billion dollar office supply sector got their report cards today, and while FedEx Office and Office Depot shored up their brands with impressive 'green' grades, companies like PaperlinX and Amazon.com came up short on critical environmental factors, earning less than a 'D' grade in each of the report card's six categories.
Download the report card here: http://www.forestethics.org/green-grades-09
Since 2007, environmental groups ForestEthics and Dogwood Alliance have collaborated on the Green Grades office supply report card to inform American consumers and large purchasers of office supply products about which companies' paper practices safeguard the environment and the world’s forests.
"Companies like FedEx Office, Unisource, Office Depot, United Stationers, and Target have used their purchasing power to stop the purchase of paper from some of the world's most destructive companies," said Daniel Hall of ForestEthics. "Unfortunately, companies like Xpedx and Amazon.com continue to fund forest destruction. And while Wal-Mart has made great strides on other environmental factors, they fall short on their paper practices."
This year's grades reflect that more companies recognize the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the most authoritative and credible forest certification system. Several companies are shifting their purchasing toward FSC-certified paper-and away from forest sources certified by the industry-driven Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification scheme. SFI's reputation for crafting certifications to fit a destructive industry status quo has increasingly called into question its viability as a symbol of sustainability.
This year's report card also finds the sector moving away from bad actors including International Paper, a company notorious for reckless forest conversion and Endangered Forest logging in the Southern US, and also Asia Pulp & Paper, a company that continuously courts controversy for destroying endangered wildlife habitat and indigenous communities in Indonesia. Additionally, several companies have made efforts to avoid paper sourced from important caribou habitat in the Canadian Boreal Forest, the world's largest terrestrial ecosystem, including forests logged by Abitibi'Bowater.
In a special 'Greenwash' section, paper wholesalers Xpedx and PaperlinX are called out for making boasts about their sustainability positions that are not borne out by the facts, and that mislead customers who are looking to green their businesses, supply chains, and personal consumption.
"When environmental laggards exaggerate or distort claims of being green, they undercut the hard-earned achievements of the companies whose values are demonstrably greener than the rest," said Andrew Goldberg of Dogwood Alliance. "But a number of companies in this report card talk a green game while supporting destructive paper companies like International Paper and hiding behind less than credible certifications like those of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative."