Originally posted on the Greenpeace Canada website
Sustainability policies announced by corporations have been capturing quite a lot of headlines recently and for good reason too: new sourcing policies focussing on the environment and indigenous rights are good for our forests and good for the planet. However, progress on implementing these policies is often painstakingly slow, leaving many wondering if these commitments mean anything at all.
With help from thousands of people like you, Greenpeace has been able to secure numerous sustainability policies in recent years from some of the largest corporations in the world. And importantly, we have committed to monitoring them to ensure companies keep their promises and forests and our planet reap the benefits.
Today, we get to share the good news of a major company living up to its promise!
3M Puts Its Values Into Action
In March, we applauded multinational company 3M for its new sustainable pulp and paper policy. The maker of Post-it Notes, Scotch Tape and other iconic products agreed to protect the world’s most important forests, respect the rights of Indigenous People and work to increase its use of recycled and tree-free paper. This news came after ForestEthics and Greenpeace made public 3M’s links to a rainforest destroyer in Indonesia and buying paper from controversial logging company Resolute Forest Products.
3M quickly stopped sourcing from pulp and paper giant APRIL’s parent company and ended its association with rainforest destruction (a few months later, APRIL itself committed to turning its chainsaws off).
3M committed to reporting publicly on its progress in implementing its policy. I have had numerous conversations with senior personnel inside 3M and they have taken the values they laid out in their policy seriously. Today I can report that 3M is taking the next step in its journey toward sustainable pulp and paper by beginning to eliminate Resolute from its global supply chain.
Momentum building to conserve our iconic Boreal Forest
Greenpeace has been calling on Resolute to do better for years because of the company’s unsustainable forestry operations. It is destroying Endangered Forests that overlap the traditional territory of First Nations communities and which include critical habitat for the endangered woodland caribou. Since January 2014, Resolute has had an unprecedented four Forest Stewardship Council certificates, covering more than 8 million hectares of forest, either suspended or terminated.
To give you a sense of the positive implications on-the-ground of 3M’s responsible fibre sourcing policy outside of Resolute’s operations, last month we helped bring attention to a small community in northern Quebec who are fighting to protect the last remaining intact forest on its land. The Waswanipi Cree First Nation are calling for permanent protection of the Broadback Valley, an Endangered Forest and their homeland since time immemorial. 3M heard this story and senior personnel from the company traveled to the Boreal Forest to meet with scientists, forestry experts and the Cree Nation. This visit is a clear sign that 3M recognizes that the rights of First Nations, the protection of endangered Canadian species like caribou and sustainable forest management are critical for the health and well-being of the Boreal Forest.
Despite the controversy surrounding Resolute Forest Products, it is possible to source sustainable pulp and paper from the Canadian Boreal forest today. 3M remains committed to responsible and sustainable sourcing from the Boreal, as well as job creation and respecting the rights of First Nations. Greenpeace believes eliminating Resolute Forest Products from 3M’s global supply chain is an important step to align its practices with these values. Greenpeace has strongly encouraged companies we work with to find and support truly sustainable operations in the Boreal Forest.
Last year the world’s largest electronics retailer, Best Buy, also announced major improvements to its paper supply chain to better protect Canada’s Boreal Forest by shifting business away from Resolute and requiring Forest Stewardship Council certified paper from this supplier. This move to better protect Endangered Forests and human rights came less than two weeks after 52,000 people across the globe took action asking the company to do better.
Greenpeace campaigns for a healthy Boreal Forest that can support communities and sustainable businesses. We believe that Resolute’s leadership can address its sustainability challenges and deliver on public and customer expectations for responsible forest management. Greenpeace has extended an open offer to assist them in this journey.