U.S Companies Win by Disclosing Forest Footprints

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Kimberly-Clark, Nike, and Weyerhaeuser Demonstrate their Supply Chain Sustainability

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“We cannot save our most precious forests without the active engagement of large companies, leading the way in demonstrating that sustainability is good business.”

Today, the Forest Footprint Disclosure project and the National Wildlife Federation announce the results of the 2010 disclosure survey and the winners of awards in several categories for excellent reports.

In three of the 13 categories, U.S. companies were sector winners, demonstrating their advanced understanding of their supply chains. Kimberly-Clark, winner of the Personal Care and Household Goods Sector, was the first major tissue company to require wood fiber suppliers to gain independent certification for their fiber activities. Also through their sourcing standards, they have a stated preference for FSC (Forest Stewardship Certification) standards and they provide funding to map high value conservation forests in Brazil and Indonesia.

In recognition of their emergence this year as a sector leader, Suhas Apte, Kimberly-Clark’s VP of Global Sustainability has stated, “Kimberly-Clark has been integrating sustainability into all aspects of our business—from the design and manufacture of our products, to serving the communities where we operate and sell our portfolio of essential products. …… We are honored to be recognized by the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project as it is a further testament to our sustainability credentials.”

Another sector leader from the U.S. is Nike (Clothing, Accessories and Footwear), who has taken action to avoid purchasing leather from areas of new deforestation.

Barbara Bramble, NWF international policy advisor praised the companies and the broader effort, saying, “We cannot save our most precious forests without the active engagement of large companies, leading the way in demonstrating that sustainability is good business.”

In addition, Weyerhaeuser, for the second year in a row, is a joint winner in the Industrials, Construction and Autos sector.

The Forest Footprint Disclosure project, a UK-based initiative, was launched in June 2009 and works with nearly 300 global companies, to disclose their dependence on certain commodities in their supply chains – namely soy, palm oil, timber, cattle products and biofuels—which are known to be linked to deforestation pressures. Once the survey is completed FFD then works with these companies, to explain forest risk, analyze how it might be reduced, and to deliver a feedback report to encourage higher scoring in future years. The FFD is backed by 56 major financial firms who represent over $5 trillion in assets, and who value information about how companies are reducing forest risk to guide their investment decisions.

NWF helped to launch the FFD in the United States in 2010, and is pleased that the number of responses from US based companies grew significantly during this past year.

The FFD survey instrument was sent to 285 companies overall, 87 of which were based in the U.S. Of the latter, 12 agreed to disclose, including major brands PepsiCo., Avon, Best Buy and Lowe’s. All participants were assigned to 1 of 13 sectors based on the nature of their business, including Food Products & Soft Drinks, Accessories & Footwear, and Travel & Leisure. In each sector, the best reports were singled out for the quality of their supply chain management policy.

NWF has long been involved in educational efforts to move landowners, industrial producers and governments toward more sustainable forest and agricultural practices.

A list of those companies contacted for participation in the FFD Project, yet who did not disclose, can be found here: http://www.nwf.org/deforestation AND here: http://www.forestjustice.org/FFD2010/

To learn more about the Forest Footprint Disclosure Project please visit: http://www.forestdisclosure.com/

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Barbara Bramble
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