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Watchdog group finds companies not living up to promises


June 14, 2018
By P&PC staff

June 14, 2018 – Major companies such as the Office Depot, Penguin Random House and Japanese office supplier Askul are among those cited by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) as not living up to corporate promises.

The pulp and paper industry is a significant driver of deforestation and global climate emissions, and many major end-users of pulp and paper products have adopted corporate policies to cut out deforestation and human rights abuses in their supply chain. Still, RAN’s new report finds that, despite these promises, in many cases conditions on the ground show little change.

“Around the world, communities have lost and continue to lose their lands and forests to existing plantations and plantation expansion,” Brihannala Morgan, senior campaigner with RAN, said. “Basic human rights are not being respected, intact forests are being felled, and carbon-rich peatlands are still burning. Companies are not meeting their promises, and the world’s forests and forest-dependent communities are suffering the consequences.”

RAN found that, while several companies are taking active steps to ensure that their policies are creating real change on the ground, many companies are moving slowly in turning their policy promises into real change on the ground.

Companies like Scholastic, LBrands, Macmillan and Hachette are leading the pack, while pulp and paper giants like Askul, Office Depot, and Penguin Random House need to take urgent action to show the marketplace that they are serious about their commitments. RAN used company surveys and reports to benchmark 13 key companies across several pulp and paper consumer sectors that have developed policies on pulp and paper sourcing.

Indonesia’s forests – with their globally significant biodiversity, importance for the climate, and consequence to local and Indigenous communities – have long been a focal point for global advocacy campaigns. Indonesia’s high deforestation rate, significant greenhouse gas emissions and human rights abuses are largely driven by the nation’s massive plantation sectors, including industrial pulpwood plantations.