Today, 3M – the company behind the iconic yellow Post-It Notes – announced a new sustainable paper buying policy. This comes after years of campaigning by our friends at ForestEthics with recent support from Greenpeace.
The policy, which applies to all of its products around the world, includes a lot of good elements. Here are the top five things to take note of:
2. Suppliers must ensure the Free, Prior and Informed Consent from indigenous peoples and local communities before logging can occur.
3. Sources must respect the rights and safety of workers, including no forced or child labor, no employment discrimination, and the freedom to associate (unionize).
4. 3M will increase its use of recycled and tree-free paper, and take steps to reduce the pulp and paper it uses.
5. Regular reporting on its performance implementing the new policies will be shared publicly (with help from The Forest Trust) so we can see how they are doing, and hold the company to its promises over time.
3M has shown it is serious by already putting the new standards into practice. The company has cut ties with a subsidiary of the Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group due to its association with Indonesia rainforest-destroyer APRIL. Greenpeace has repeatedly documented APRIL razing rainforests, including the forest homes of endangered Sumatran tigers and orangutans, for its pulpwood plantations. APRIL/RGE has also been linked to serious social conflict and the wrecking of carbon-rich peatlands.
In addition, 3M has notified controversial logging giant Resolute Forest Products that it will need to comply with its new sourcing standards or lose business. Among other things, Resolute will have to show that it is not degrading High Conservation Value Forests or endangered caribou habitat, and that it has resolved conflicts with indigenous First Nations in Canada.
More and more companies are listening when their customers say they don’t want to buy products tied to forest destruction. When companies like 3M take action, we take one step closer to a world without deforestation.
Rolf Skar is the Forest Campaign Director at Greenpeace US.