Levi Strauss has joined a growing list of corporate leaders who will not buy forest products from Asia Pulp and Paper because of its ongoing involvement in rainforest destruction and human
rights abuses in Indonesia.
To make sure it doesn't source from the world's endangered forests, Levi Strauss revamped it forest products purchasing policy which began in the early 1990s.
"Levi's forest products purchasing policy sends a clear message to Asia Pulp and Paper that if they want to do business with respected global companies, they must stop destroying rainforests," says Lafcadio Cortesi for Rainforest Action
Network. "It is time for APP to stop pulping Indonesia's last rainforests for cheap paper products. Instead APP should support the country's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation."
Levi's new worldwide policy covers all wood and paper products purchased by the company and mandates that at all paper contain a minimum 30% post-consumer recycled content. When it's available, the company will buy 100% post-consumer paper and when that's not possible it will buy paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) that it comes from sustainably managed forests.
The policy applies to all forest products Levi's may procure, including paper, product packaging and hangtags, corrugated, construction and decoration materials, and furniture.
Most recently, Kroger, the largest US supermarket chain, ended its contract with Asia Pulp, as did the world's biggest toy maker Mattel.
Over the past several years, a growing list of major brands have dropped their contracts with Asia Pulp: US book publishers Scholastic, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, toy makers Hasbro and Lego, fashion giants Gucci and Tiffany and Co., and office supply stores Staples and Office Depot.
The Walt Disney Company is currently developing a policy to exclude fiber connected to deforestation from its global
Indonesia's rainforests are among the most biologically and culturally diverse in the world, and its deforestation rates are among the highest.
The country is the world's third largest greenhouse gas emitter (after China and US) because of the clearcutting of its vast forests. More carbon is released into the atmosphere each year from logging Indonesia's forests than from all the cars,
trucks, planes and ships in the US combined.
It is also leading to the extinction of wildlife, including the orangutan and Sumatran tiger.
Asia Pulp is expanding rapidly into the US and Canada, planning to flood both markets with cheap paper and tissue products. Since it usually does business under the name of one of its subsidiary shell companies, many customers don't realize they're buying from them. Some of the shells are: Eagle Ridge Paper, Global Paper Solutions Inc., Solaris Paper and Mercury Paper.
The Indonesian government estimates that roughly one million hectares of forest are cleared every year and Asia Pulp's
own reports confirm that it relies on rainforests to fuel its operations.
Learn more about Levi Strauss and sustainability: