Commitment to Improving Footprint in World’s Forests is Vague and Inconsequential
This morning, , the world’s largest paper company, announced twelve new voluntary sustainability goals to be achieved by 2020. Rather than demonstrating leadership, the company failed to set meaningful goals that will have any significant impact on forests around the world. Dogwood Alliance and leading environmental organizations expected transparency, a roadmap to success and leadership; these goals fail to achieve those results.
Forest product companies have huge environmental footprints, and their heaviest impacts fall in the world’s forests. The environmental community and leading Fortune 500 companies have been looking for clear commitments to address these destructive impacts. Unfortunately, these new goals provide slim guidance as to how the company plans to address these serious concerns.
is the largest paper company operating in the Southern US, which is the largest paper producing region in the world. As the leading forest protection organization in the South, Dogwood Alliance has long campaigned to end the company’s destructive practices in the region, which sadly are not addressed in these new goals.
First and foremost, failed to set any meaningful goals around its fiber sourcing. Rather than commit specifically to an end to logging of endangered forests and conversion of natural forests and forested wetlands to sterile tree plantations, the company relied on platitudes and rhetoric.
One way the company could have ensured aggressive and continuous improvement on the ground would have been to dramatically increase targets for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified virgin fiber. Instead, they set an inconsequential goal of 15% increased certified fiber over the next eight years with no stated preference for FSC or clarity as to the goals for virgin fiber. This is less than 2% increase per year. has recently acquired Temple-Inland through a merger. By certifying Temple-Inlands’s existing recycled product lines alone, could achieve its meager certification goals with no measurable change on the ground for the forests of the world.
The one glimmer of hope is a stated commitment to addressing supply chain issues by 2013. If you were looking for any specificity, though, you will not find it in this report. Our hope is that will take a more aggressive approach in its next iteration, but until then, it is business-as-usual forest destruction from the world’s largest paper company.