More Major Brands Limit Their Use of Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Label

Office Depot, Southwest Airlines, and others add to growing corporate trend away from SFI
Tuesday Apr 30, 2013

PRESS CONTACTS: Lauren Stansbury, 202-518-8790, lauren@mintwood.com; Ryan Fletcher, 202-641-027, ryan@mintwood.com

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today, ForestEthics announced new examples of a growing trend to avoid using the ‘Sustainable Forestry Initiative’ (SFI) for environmental claims or preferences.  To date, twenty-four prominent brands including AT&T, United Stationers, Pitney Bowes and Allstate have now taken action to move away from SFI.  Today’s announcement calls attention to policies and commitments by Office Depot, Southwest Airlines, Cricket Communications and Hewlett-Packard.

"For major brands, as for ForestEthics, SFI is not environmental leadership,” said Aaron Sanger of ForestEthics.

ForestEthics has publicly confirmed action by 24 major US brands to reduce SFI’s role in corporate environmental programs, plus:

• Publication of a report entitled “SFI: Certified Greenwash,” which explains why ForestEthics believes SFI's program is too dependent on the industry it serves and is not good for forests.

• Filing of complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and Internal Revenue Service alleging that SFI misleads the public by claiming to be “fully independent”, to be “good for forests” and to be a valid nonprofit charity even though it primarily serves private for profit interests.

• The expansion of a grassroots citizens movement concerned about SFI, including more than 20 of North America’s leading environmental organizations and tens of thousands of individuals concerned about the long- term effect of SFI’s program on our forests.

Office Depot, Southwest Airlines and Cricket Communications took the following actions that are specifically related to SFI:

• In Office Depot’s new Greener Purchasing Policy for Paper Products, SFI certification is only a minimum requirement and is not considered 'green'. Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified and recycled papers are given policy preference.

• Southwest Airlines will continue avoiding the use of the SFI logo and name on its materials and will maintain its preference for FSC-certified paper when purchasing certified paper products.
                                                                              
• Cricket Communications will maintain a strong preference for FSC certified products and will avoid using or promoting products certified by the SFI.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) recently confirmed that 100% of its HP Everyday paper products are now FSC-certified in the Americas. This milestone is the result of HP’s commitment to use FSC as the benchmark for acceptable forest certification in procurement and marketing.

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ForestEthics is a non-profit organization devoted to public engagement, outreach and environmental advocacy - including political advocacy. We secure large-scale protection of endangered forests and wild places and transform environmentally destructive resource-extraction industries.

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