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Forest Ethics Green Grades 2011

Forest Ethics Green Grades 2011

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Published by: forestethics on Mar 02, 2012
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03/02/2012

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G
reen
G
r
 
des
A
C
lass
:
Credit Card, Insurance, and Telecom Sectors 
American Express, AT&T, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase,
T
erm
:
ForestEthics 
T
eaCher
:
2011
P
uPils
:
 
Discover, GEICO, Sprint, State Farm, Travelers, USAA, Verizon 
When you apply or a new credit card, shop or car insurance or sign upor a cell phone plan, you’re probably looking or a air deal and goodservice.
But, one thing you’re likely not expecting to get withthe deal is orest destruction.Unortunately, that’s oten what we get. Companies that oercredit card, insurance and mobile communication serviceshave a major impact on North America’s endangered orests.
Forests clean our air and water, provide lie-saving medicine, serve as ahome to innumerable species and sustain human communities. They’resimply too valuable to waste on unwanted oers that arrive in ourmailboxes and other excessive paper use.
T
his
 
 year
s
G
reen
G
rades
r
eporT
 C
 ard
 
examines
 
The
 
paper
 
praCTiCes
 
of
 
 a 
 
dozen
f
orTune
500
Companies
 
ThaT
 
Consume
 
 vasT
 
 amounTs
 
of
 
paper
.
ForestEthics’ analysis reveals that several major companiesall ar short o using best environmental practices in theirpaper buying.
Because these companies consume so much paper–oreverything rom direct mail solicitations to customer billing to internalcompany communications–their environmental ootprint extends deepinto orests. And since these companies represent some o the loggingand paper industry’s largest customers, their choices can uniquelyinuence the protection–or destruction–o the world’s endangeredorests.
Our analysis also shows some companies improving theirenvironmental leadership on paper issues.
By reducingconsumption, maximizing recycled content and utilizing only crediblecertifcation or non-recycled fber, these corporations are positioningthemselves well to respond the increased demand or legitimately greenproducts and services.
C
hoose
our
o
wn
p
 aper
w
isely 
Whether you’re buying paper or a Fortune500 company or your child’s frst day o school,environmentally and socially responsible paper usebegins with three essential steps:1)Minimizing overall paperuse.2)Maximizing the post-consumer recycled contentin paper.3)Choosing paper thatis certifed by the ForestStewardship Council (FSC)and ree o fber romendangered orests orother controversial sources.
 a r
ePorT
C
 ard
o
n
:
s
inCe
 
The
 
release
 
of
f
oresT
e
ThiCs
 
 and
d
oGwood
  a 
llianCe
s
 
firsT
G
reen
G
rades
r
eporT
C
 ard
 
in
 2007,
some
 
of
 
The
 
world
s
 
mosT
 
well
-
known
 
offiCe
 
supply 
 
reTailers
 
 and
 
larGesT
 
disTribuTors
 
have
 
made
 
biG
 
environmenTal
 
CommiTmenTs
 
ThaT
 
help
 
proTeCT
 
foresTs
. s
ee
 
The
 
final
 
paGe
 
of
 
This
 
reporT
 
for
 
updaTes
 
on
 
The
 
offiCe
 
supply 
 
 and
 
serviCes
 
seCTor
 
sinCe
 
lasT
 
 year
s
G
reen
G
rades
.
ForestEthics ollows the corporate paper trail.
Some paper trails lead to orest destruction. Others do not.
 
G
r
 
dinG
C
riTeria 
A
h
o
e
u
sed
o
ur
r
ed
m
 arker
 
To create this report, ForestEthics reviewed the policies and practices oa dozen large U.S. companies that utilize signicant amounts o paperor direct mail marketing, internal oce use and communication withcustomers
. Twelve companies in the credit card, insurance and telecommunicationssectors received and were asked to respond to a detailed survey about their paperpolicies and practices.Based on survey results, other data that is publicly available, and each company’sresponse to our detailed suggestions or improving its paper practices, we assignedeach company an overall grade based on grades in key categories.
The ollowing ourcategories* were most heavily weighted in the assignment o grades:
• F
orest
s
tewardship
C
ounCil
(FsC) C
ertiFiCation
• s
ustainable
F
orestry 
i
nitiative
(sFi) G
reenwash
• r
eCyCled
p
 aper
• r
eduCtion
*In addition, we considered companies’ responses in the categories of Endangered Forest Policy & Action, Plantation Conversion & Other Controversial Sources, and Other Forest Ecosystem Conservation Leadership.
G
lossary
 
of
T
erms
 
F
orest
s
tewardship
C
ounCil
(FsC) C
ertiFiCation
:
Even in 2011, the vast majority o paper is produced using fber comingdirectly rom trees. ForestEthics and other leading environmental groups recognize the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the only eco-labelthat gives credible assurance that the trees providing fber or paper were grown and harvested using environmentally responsible methods. FSCstandards help maintain a natural diversity o plant and wildlie species, minimize chemicals and water quality impacts, protect endangered areas,and respect indigenous peoples’ rights. ForestEthics encourages companies to state a clear preerence or FSC in their paper purchasing policiesand utilize FSC certifed products or paper containing non-recycled fber.
s
ustainable
F
orestry 
i
nitiative
(sFi) G
reenwash
:
 
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) was created by the timber industryto greenwash business-as-usual logging and other controversial and unsustainable practices. SFI’s inadequate orest management standards haveresulted in the certifcation o logging that threatens wildlie, creates large clearcuts, and relies on widespread toxic chemical use. Companieswishing to demonstrate their environmental credibility are advised to avoid the SFI logo and name–and the greenwashing o orest destruction itrepresents. The same goes or the Programme or the Endorsement o Forest Certifcation (PEFC), which endorses the SFI.
r
eCyCled
p
 aper
:
 
Post-consumer recycled (PCR) paper embodies a range o environmental benefts. First among them: avoiding impacts onorest ecosystems. PCR paper also requires less energy and water in the production phase. And fnding new lie or old fbers keeps used paper outo the landfll where it would release methane (a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide) as it decomposed. ForestEthics urgescompanies to maximize the percentage o post-consumer fber in all types and grades o paper they use, utilizing at least 30% PCR or all paper–including printing and writing papers.
r
eduCtion
:
 
Reducing overall paper consumption is the cornerstone o any environmentally responsible paper policy, and is the most efcientand eective way or a company to reduce its environmental ootprint associated with paper. O course, reducing paper consumption also helpscompanies reduce costs. Leading companies like Sprint have set aggressive goals to reduce paper consumption using a variety o techniques–romlessening their reliance on paper-intensive direct mail marketing to shrinking the size and weight o the papers they use.What it really comes down to is:
How orest-riendly are acompany’s paper practices?
 
o
 verall
G
r
 
des
C
omPany
n
 ame
o
 verall
G
rade
T
eaCher
s
n
oTes
s
PrinT
Every class has its star pupil, and
Sprint
is the clear sustainable paper leaderin this group. With a robust paper reduction goal and a strengthened FSCpreerence, its top grade is well-earned.
B
 ank
 
of
  a 
meriCa 
C+
Bank o America’
s paper policy shows respect or endangered orests. Itspaper reduction target is solid. Clariying its FSC preerence and droppingSFI’s greenwash certifcation label would bring it up a notch
C
 aPiTal
 o
ne
C+
Capital One’
s paper policy eatures an FSC preerence and shuns paperrom valuable intact orests. But dropping SFI rom its policy and setting ameasurable paper reduction goal would help do more or orests.
 aT&T
C+
With a new paper policy in the works,
AT&T
has already committed to makean FSC purchase preerence and avoid SFI greenwash. Good steps or thetelecom giant.
usaa 
C+
We understand
United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
istaking steps to avoid promoting the SFI. It is also boosting FSC use in directmail paper, but more is needed on paper reduction and recycled content.
d
isCover
C
Discover
just adopted its frst paper procurement policy–and it has a clearpreerence or FSC. Now Discover should add detailed goals or other keycriteria, such as recycled fber and reduction.
s
TaTe
f
 arm
C-
State Farm
is embracing an FSC preerence and dropping SFI rom its roadatlas. Now it can be ‘a good neighbor’ to orests by raising the bar orrecycled paper and reducing consumption in its upcoming paper policy revision.
 v 
erizon
C-
Verizon
has some positive paper reduction practices and has steered clearo SFI greenwash. It can advance beyond average by setting measurabletargets around FSC and recycled content.
 a 
meriCan
 e
 xPress
 D+
While
American Express
uses a air amount o FSC paper, the companyutilizes an embarrassingly small percentage o recycled fber and lacks trans-parency in its paper policies and goals.
C
hase
 D+
Financial giant
Chase
uses a gargantuan amount o paper, mostly or junkmail. Though they use some FSC paper, Chase should go on a paperconsumption diet and avoid the SFI greenwash trap.
GEICO
F  
GEICO’
s amous gecko may be green, but the company’s paper practices areanything but. This notorious junk mailer ailed to return our survey and hasno apparent paper policy. It’s acting like a cave man on paper.
T
ravelers
F  
Travelers
, one o America’s major insurance companies, appears to behiding behind its giant red umbrella. Simple math: No survey response + publicsilence on its paper practices = Failure. What did orests ever do to them?
A
This year’s Green Grades Report Card examines the paper practices o a dozen Fortune 500 companiesthat consume vast amounts o paper. Here you’ll fnd which major companies are taking responsibilityor their orest impact–and which companies are lagging behind.
GOLDSTAR 
Needs work...FLUNK!
Moreeffortrequired.
Ugh.Still room toimprove...
T
he
r
ePorT
C
 ard
 

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