Statement in Response to IP Third-Party Certification

Response to 's forest certification announcement, including a summary of the long history of unsustainable practices in the region…

– June 28, 2007

Contact: Scot Quaranda, Dogwood Alliance, 828.251.2525 x18, [email protected]

Statement from Dogwood Alliance on IP’s
Third-Party Certification of its US Paper Mills

Asheville, NC’s long history of unsustainable forestry practices
have scarred the Southern landscape for decades. Practices such as large-scale clearcutting,
logging of endangered forests, intensive use of toxic chemicals in forest
management and the conversion of native forests to monoculture pine plantations
have had a detrimental impact on the quality of life of local communities,
wildlife habitat, water quality and our forests ability to store and sequester
carbon to reduce the impact of global climate change.

For over ten years, Dogwood
Alliance and our broad-based network have called on IP to change these
practices and join the effort to protect our local communities and forests in
the region. Today’s announcement of intent
to pursue Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain of custody certification is a
positive first step towards greater protection of the forests and communities
that define our region. However, it is
not clear from today’s press release to what extent that certification will
reach and anything short of all of their mills in unacceptable.

Some of the most unique and
special places in the South, from the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia to the
Green Swamp of North Carolina to the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee and
Alabama have been irreparably harmed by the company’s practices. Endangered forests have been logged, swamps
have been ditched and drained to make way for plantations, and tens of
thousands of acres have been sprayed with toxic chemicals all in the name of
paper production.

The number one paper product
originating from Southern forests is packaging.
IP is the largest producer of packaging in the region and prominent
mills along the Atlantic
Coast, including the
Riegelwood Mill in NC and the Franklin Mill in VA have led to countless acres
of endangered forests being logged to produce a product that is used once and
thrown away. The time is ripe for IP to
declare and end to these destructive practices and embrace a truly sustainable

Large customers of paper
products from the Office Supply Industry, the Book Industry, the Catalog
Industry and more have embraced FSC as a positive solution for reducing their
companies’ impacts on Southern forests and forests worldwide. Companies embracing FSC as the only
legitimate certification system include Williams Sonoma, the Limited Brands,
Home Depot, and more. FSC is the only
certification system also embraced by the wider environmental community.

While we support
’s stated intent to pursue FSC certification, it is
important to point out that today the company is still focused on its
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification. The SFI is an industry founded certification
system that continues to allow for such egregious practices as logging of
endangered forests, large-scale clearcutting, and conversion of native forests
to sterile pine plantations. It is not
endorsed by the broader environmental community.

Dogwood Alliance is pleased
that our work to improve ’s business practices in the
Southern US has resulted in today’s announcement and we will continue our work
to convince even more of IP’s largest corporate customers to phase out products
originating from endangered forests and instead to purchase products made with
high recycled and FSC certified content.
We call on the company to aggressively pursue FSC certification for all
of its fiber sourcing in the Southern US and
make a greater effort to end all logging of endangered forests and instead
start the important process of restoration of these forests.

# # #

For further info on Dogwood
Alliance and its work to transform the paper industry, visit:

For more info on FSC and its
certification system, visit:

For more info on the
shortcomings of the SFI, visit:


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