Friday, September 04, 2009

What's In Your Eagle Ridge Paper?

CONSUMER ALERT: A U.S. consumer awareness alert from the Paper Planet for everyone who buys paper.

Buyer beware, Eagle Ridge Paper is a new marketing and distribution strategy by notorious forest and paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) to sell to the U.S. market.

You see, in the past decade, APP has been a disaster for international investors, been caught carrying out illegal logging in China, been blamed for a large portion of the forest fires that put Indonesia under the curse of a debilitating haze, been wiping out habitat for elephants and tigers and orangutans to the verge of extinction, violated agreements with large, mainstream environmental organizations including, FSC, WWF, and Rainforest Alliance, and lost contracts with big US corporate customers including Walmart, Office Depot, Staples, UniSource, Woolworths, FedEx Office and more to come soon. My sincere apologies for the run-on sentence, but there's a long, bad track record to cite, so blame Asia Pulp and Paper for my poor grammar too! APP has been doing lots of damage control, even trying to co-opt their Wikipedia entry, and taking out full page ads, but it seems the money could be better spent.

The Wall Street Journal recently quoted Mark Buckley of Staples in the following manner:

"We decided engagement was not possible anymore," Mr. Buckley said. "We haven't seen any indication that APP has been making any positive strides" to protect the environment. Remaining a customer of APP was "at great peril to our brand," he added.
Further questions arise around compliance with the new amendments to the Lacey Act, which regulates importation into the U.S. of illegal plant derived products (such as paper from trees). It will increase transparency and focus law enforcement efforts by requiring importers to declare the species, country of origin, and other related information. Can you buy this uncertified paper, from a region rampant with illegal logging, and be sure you are in compliance with the new law? For large corporate purchasers it is something you must look into or else face penalties which can be large if you are not able to demonstrate your due diligence. Learn about this Act and get advice from Environmental Investigation Agency.

Please look into some of this information, and consult with your trusted conservation contacts. See if the practices of this company are aligned with your own values and corporate responsibility plan. Can you really afford the risk of doing business on this problematic paper? If companies like Wal-Mart and Staples chose not too associate their brand with this paper, should you?

Most of us will never visit a tropical Indonesian rainforest. But everyone can spare 47 minutes with some popcorn for a beautifully shot film called GREEN, a new documentary film available free online at: Its beauty will move you. Its tracking of the impacts of the supply chain from the Indonesian rainforest to the marketplace will change the way you see the world.

Thanks for taking a closer look, doing so could save you a lot.

Scientists Urge Society to Recognize Boreal as Crucial Store of Carbon

A diverse group of scientific experts on the world's Boreal Forest ecosystem have published an article on titled, Urgent preservation of boreal carbon stocks and biodiversity, which adds gravity to the need to alter human activities in the Boreal Forest to ensure ecosystems are managed lightly and that large areas be left alone altogether. With the boreal a major zone of pulp and paper production, this translates in a practical way for consumers, sustainability officers, and procurement professionals to ask their suppliers good questions and to look closely at what's in your paper.

Here is the abstract:

Containing approximately one-third of all remaining global forests, the boreal ecosystem is a crucial store of carbon and a haven for diverse biological communities. Historically, fire and insects primarily drove the natural dynamics of this biome. However, human-mediated disturbances have increased in these forests during recent years, resulting in extensive forest loss for some regions, whereas others face heavy forest fragmentation or threat of exploitation. Current management practices are not likely to maintain the attendant boreal forest communities, nor are they adequate to mitigate climate change effects. There is an urgent need to preserve existing boreal forests and restore degraded areas if we are to avoid losing this relatively intact biodiversity haven and major global carbon sink.
Here is the link to the full article.