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Activists Convince Staples to go Old-Growth Free

by Ross Hammersley Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2002 at 9:07 PM
ross@ecopledge.com 213.251.3690 3435 Wilshire Blvd. #385 LA,CA 90010

After feeling pressure from more than 600 protests at Staples stores nationwide, tens of thousands of letters and calls to the company's CEO, and news coverage across the country, office-supply giant Staples, Inc. announced Tuesday that it will meet the demands of the Paper Campaign and move towards forest friendly paper sales

For Immediate Release (11/12/02): Contact: Rebecca O’Malley 213-251-3690 x.302 Ross Hammersley 213.251.3690 x.319

Office Supply Superstore Staples Inc. Agrees to Historic Endangered Forest and Recycling Standards

Los Angeles, CA -- After feeling pressure from more than 600 protests at Staples stores nationwide, tens of thousands of letters and calls to the company’s CEO, and news coverage across the country, office supply giant Staples announced Tuesday that it will meet the meet the Paper Campaign’s demands to move towards forest-friendly paper sales. The Paper Campaign is a national coalition of dozens of groups dedicated to moving the marketplace towards recycled paper. Ecopledge.com has been a part of the Paper Campaign since the spring of 2001. The Paper Campaign and ecopledge.com applaud Staples’ move to set the standard in the office supply industry and are now looking to other paper retailers such as Office Max, Office Depot and Corporate Express to follow Staples’ lead.

Under Staples’ new guidelines, an industry first, the company will:

Achieve an average of 30% post consumer recycled content across all paper products it sells;

Phase out purchases of paper products from endangered forests, including the Canadian Boreal forests, key forests in the Southern US, and endangered National Forests;

Create an environmental affairs division and report annually on its environmental results.

This agreement is the culmination of a two-year effort by the national Paper Campaign coalition. Over the past year, activists from ecopledge.com have generated thousands of calls and postcards to Staples asking the company to agree to the demands of the Paper Campaign. Ecopledge.com is a joint campaign of student environmental groups from around the country that harnesses the power of students, investors and consumers to influence targeted corporations to take simple, yet important steps to minimize their impact on the planet. “Staples new policy is the beginning of the end of the practice of destroying endangered forests to make disposable paper products,” said Rebecca O’Malley, program advocate for ecopledge.com. “This is the result of efforts from concerned citizens across the country publicly demanding Staples stop selling our forests.”

Ross Hammersley, west coast field organizer for ecopledge.com added: “Staples’ new policy is a big win for America’s forests. Activists and concerned citizens across the country can celebrate creating positive environmental change at one of the world’s leading corporations.”

About the Paper Campaign
Since 2000, the Paper Campaign has taken its environmental message directly to the marketplace. By educating consumers, getting the attention of the media, and working directly with corporate decision makers, the Campaign helps reduce the demand for paper from wood, especially from endangered forests, and increase the demand for affordable, high quality recycled paper. The largest grassroots, market-based forest protection campaign in the US, the Paper Campaign unites dozens of citizen groups nationwide with an interest in safeguarding America’s forest heritage for future generations.

The Paper Campaign is proud to include the following organizations in its coalition: American Lands Alliance, Allegheny Defense Project, Cascadia Forest Alliance, Center for a New American Dream, Dogwood Alliance, groups of EarthFirst!, Ecopledge.com, ForestEthics, Green Corps, Kentucky Heartwood, Sierra Student Coalition, Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project, Free the Planet, Heartwood, Native Forest Network, National Forest Protection Alliance, Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Relief, ReThink Paper, Student Environmental Action Coalition, Wild Alabama, Iowa STEP, Shenandoah Ecosystem Defense Group, GrassRoots Recycling Network, Indiana Forest Alliance, and other local organizations.

Please visit www.ThePaperCampaign.com and www.ecopledge.com for more information.

Originally printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, which Staples now sells.

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