Business Leaders, Local Community and Environmentalists Join Together to Ask the Company to Stop Destroying Southern Forests for Its Packaging
Louisville, KY – This morning, representatives from the local community, sustainable business leaders, and environmentalists were on hand at the Yum! (parent company of KFC) Annual General Meeting to serve up corporate social responsibility and environmental leadership to the executives and shareholders of the company. They were there to demand the company stop destroying Southern forests for the company’s paper packaging and challenged KFC to be a leader on environmental and sustainability issues.
“While stock prices climb, our forests continue to fall as KFC continues to buy paper packaging from endangered forests in the Southern US,” said Andrew Goldberg, Corporate Engagement Director at Dogwood Alliance. “We are here today asking KFC to meet with us and begin the process of becoming an environmental leader rather than laggard. Now is the time for change.
Building on the momentum of the Kentucky Fried Forests campaign, Dogwood Alliance along with business leaders and disappointed local community members felt the time was right to deliver a strong message directly to the leaders of the company. Whereas companies like McDonald’s have adopted strong leadership environmental policies that ensure its packaging does not come from the worst of the worst practices in the woods, KFC continues to lag behind.
The group was there to ask the company to meet with them to discuss the issues and begin the development of an industry leading policy. The campaign calls on KFC to use less packaging, use more post-consumer recycled fiber in its packaging, and ensure that it does not originate from the most destructive practices like logging of endangered forests, large-scale clearcutting, and conversion of natural forests and forested wetlands to plantations.
“KFC’s iconic bucket and other packaging are made from endangered forest from the Green Swamp in Southeastern NC,” said Haiz Oppenheimer of Dogwood Alliance. “Following our successful day of action, we are here today with local communities who want the company to be good stewards in their own backyard.”
On April 27th, KFC customers and concerned citizens from around the South and across the United States, delivered letters to over 200 KFC store managers asking them to push their parent company to green its paper packaging. On the heels of this, the organization decided it was time to take that momentum to the boardroom for the shareholder meeting. Representing thousands of concerned citizens across the South they challenged the company to be real leaders in the fast food industry.
Though Dogwood Alliance has been attempting to engage with KFC for many years now, the company has refused to take meaningful action. Instead, KFC has chosen to greenwash its packaging by adopting the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification label. A vast majority of conservation organizations endorse the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification standard as the gold-standard identifying responsibly sourced forest products, while adamantly opposing the SFI because it allows large-scale clearcutting, logging of endangered forests, conversion of natural forests to plantations, and widespread use of toxic chemicals.
KFC’s largest supplier in the South, (IP) has long been associated with these types of destructive practices. Notable has been the impact the company has had on the southeastern coast in places like North Carolina’s Green Swamp, where forested wetlands have been ditched and drained and converted to monoculture pine plantations, impacting endangered species such as the Venus Flytrap and causing flooding in nearby communities. As a major purchaser of paper products from , KFC has the ability to influence industry-wide change by committing to only using FSC certified products for the company’s needs throughout its supply chain, from shipping to stores.
Dogwood Alliance is increasing protection for millions of acres of Southern forests by transforming the way corporations, landowners and communities value them for their climate, wildlife and water benefits. Dogwood Alliance has revolutionized the environmental practices of some of the world’s largest corporations. To support Dogwood Alliance’s call for KFC to adopt sustainable packaging practices send a letter to KFC leadership via www.kentuckyfriedforests.com, for more information on the organization visit www.dogwoodalliance.org.
To read more about McDonald’s recently announced environmental paper packaging policy, visit: http://www.dogwoodalliance.org/2011/03/mcdonalds-adopts-industry-leading-forest-standards-for-its-packaging/