OfficeMax Environmental Policy Signals Office Supply Sector’s Continued Interest to ‘Go Green’

Company Joins Competitors in Commitment to Reduce Environmental Impact; Comprehensive Report Detailing Environmental Progress within Office Supply Industry to Be Released Within the Year

 Asheville, NC – Today, OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) released a new environmental paper policy which will reduce the company’s impact on forests and further bolster the recycled paper industry.  This commitment caps a seven-year effort by environmental groups led by Dogwood Alliance and ForestEthics to green the office supply industry.  In less than a decade, the office supply sector has now transitioned from one of the most environmentally destructive industries to one that has begun to challenge the world’s largest paper companies to improve their forestry practices.

The first target of the campaign, Staples (NasdaqGS: SPLS), announced a policy in 2002 which has resulted in the company dramatically increasing the amount of recycled paper products they sell and becoming an industry-wide leader on global climate issues.  Their commitment was followed in 2004 by a similar one by Office Depot (NYSE: ODP). Office Depot has also dramatically increased the amount of recycled paper products it sells and planned an important initiative to protect the endangered forests of the Cumberland Plateau.  And now, OfficeMax has made a step toward environmental leadership with its new policy.

“After seven years, the largest paper retailers in the office supply sector have made the shift from an environmental nightmare toward environmental responsibility,” said Andrew Goldberg, lead negotiator on the campaign from Dogwood Alliance.  “Today OfficeMax grabs a seat at the table and we look forward to working with the company to create real on the ground change.”

Though OfficeMax has publicly stated its intention to work with its suppliers to protect the endangered forests of the Cumberland Plateau, it has failed to take action thus far.  The majestic hardwoods of the Cumberland Plateau represent some of the most important intact endangered forests in North America.  Companies including Bowater (NYSE: BOW) and Office Depot has initiated efforts to save this hotspot of biodiversity.

“Over the last ten years, our organization has joined countless concerned citizens in the fight to protect the forests of the Cumberland Plateau from the ravages of industrial forestry,” said Danna Smith, Policy Director at Dogwood Alliance.  “We expect OfficeMax to prove that action speaks louder than words by instituting real on the ground protection for the forests of our region.”

OfficeMax has also yet to take action to protect North America’s Great Boreal forest, which is one of the best natural lines of defense against global warming and is being mowed down to make paper, much of it used by U.S.-based companies.


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To view the new OfficeMax environmental paper policy, please visit:

Dogwood Alliance is the only organization in the South holding corporations accountable for the impact of their industrial forestry practices on our forests and our communities.  To learn more, visit:

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