As students go back to school, Dogwood Alliance and ForestEthics released their annual Green Grades report card today, While the sector saw overall progress on critical sustainability issues such as Endangered Forest protection, several prominent brands continue to earn poor marks from conservation groups.
Now in its 4th year, the Green Grades report card informs American consumers and large purchasers of paper products on what companies are doing--or not doing--to safeguard the environment and the world's forests.
While FedEx Office, Staples and Office Depot continue to lead the pack, according to the report other companies such as Amazon.com, Costco and xpedx continue to fall short on critical questions about the sustainability of their products and processes. In the middle are companies such as Target and PaperlinX, each of which are adopting new green paper purchasing policies, representing important progress toward really making the grade.
The 2010 Green Grades features a new category, SFI Greenwash, to address rampant use of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative's phony eco-label on office supply products. Conservation groups assert that SFI labels and certification provide "green" cover for harmful practices such as large-scale clearcutting, Endangered Forest logging, and conversion of forests to sterile tree plantations.
"It's a shame that some US wood and paper producers are spending millions to mislead consumers with SFI marketing," said Daniel Hall of ForestEthics. "That money would be much better spent on protecting remaining natural areas and endangered species' habitats, and restoring watersheds hard hit by years of excessive industrial logging."
This edition marks the fourth straight year that environmental groups Dogwood Alliance and ForestEthics have collaborated on Green Grades, and the report card has helped catalyze considerable progress by the sector over the years. For example, this year's grades reflect a growing commitment to protecting Endangered Forests around the globe and increased scrutiny of the impact of company paper habits on global climate. There is also an increased commitment from a number of companies to better practices via use of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system.