Good news from the Amazon!
Today, the pig iron industry has committed to finally changing its ways – all seven pig iron companies in the Brazilian state of Maranhão signed an agreement not to source wood charcoal that comes from forest destruction, slave labour or encroaches into indigenous lands.
For years, the industry’s progress or efforts to address these issues were either ineffective or only symbolic. Today, however, we’ve seen a significant step towards protecting the forest and its people.
A few weeks ago, activists occupied the anchor chain of the Clipper Hope, a barge that carries pig iron, the primary ingredient for steel used by the world’s leading car makers.
Pig iron from this region is often processed using wood charcoal made from rainforest wood, which is often illegally logged. To make matters worse, the charcoal is ‘cooked’ in clay ovens by workers under conditions that can only be compared to slavery.
The findings of Greenpeace International's two-year investigation documented the devastation the region has seen due to the pig iron industry.
Greenpeace International exposed the way this industry has been throwing the forests into its furnaces, destroying indigenous lands and permanently altering a globally important biological reserve to help produce cars and appliances made from steel.
The fight to protect the Amazon and those that call it home is not over yet.
Our investigation showed pig iron from the Amazon ends up in American steel mills, such as Severstal in Columbus, Mississippi, which claims to supply some of the world’s leading auto brands, such as Ford, GM, Nissan and Mercedes.
Using their influence over the market, car companies can be part of the solution that stops the illegal production of charcoal that’s destroying the Northeastern Amazon and local communities.
You can take action: stand with Brazilians calling for a Zero Deforestation Law!