Allegheny Defense Project ...working for the protection of the natural heritage of the Alleghenies...

Hellbender Journal Autumn 2002

Success Story :

Staples, Inc. Agrees to Protect Endangered Forests!

Environmentalists to Urge Staples' Competitors, Office Max, Office Depot, and Corporate Express to Follow Company's Lead

The Staples Campaign - which involved more than 600 demonstrations at Staples stores nationwide and tens of thousands of letters and calls to the company's CEO - is over following the office-supply giant's announcement on November 12 that it will meet The Paper Campaign's goal of moving the company towards environmentally-preferable paper sales.

The Paper Campaign applauds Staples' move to set the standard in the office supply industry and is now looking to other giant 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 endangered U.S. National Forests, key forests in the Southern U.S. and the Canadian Boreal forests. The term "Endangered Forests" is used to describe the most important areas of intact, native and old-growth forests left on earth.
  • Create an environmental affairs division and report annually on its environmental results.

This agreement is the culmination of a two-year effort by The Paper Campaign, a coalition of environmental groups - including the Native Forest Network, National Forest Protection Alliance, Dogwood Alliance, and Heartwood - dedicated to protecting forests by moving the marketplace towards post-consumer recycled and alternative fiber paper.

"Staples' new policy represents a significant shift in the marketplace that will result in fewer endangered forests in the U.S. and abroad needlessly cut down to make disposable paper products," stated Matthew Koehler with the Native Forest Network. "Shifting paper markets towards recycled and tree-free paper is just plain common sense. Not only does it save landfill space and save forests, but post-consumer recycled paper also requires less water and less toxins to produce."

Jake Kreilick with the National Forest Protection Alliance pointed out the importance of today's announcement given the fact that approximately 1 out of 3 trees currently logged in our publicly owned National Forests are turned into paper.

"Staples' shift toward greener pastures reflects a positive trend that will lead to less logging in our endangered U.S. National Forests," said Kreilick. "At a time when Congress and the Bush administration are taking National Forest policy in a dangerous direction, it is good to see an enlightened market shift away from the outdated dependence on public forests to provide paper products."

"Staples new policy is the beginning of the end of the practice of destroying endangered Southern forests to make paper. If Staples' competitors such as Office Max, Office Depot, and Corporate Express, do the right thing and follow Staples example, our forests can be protected for future generations," said Danna Smith of the Dogwood Alliance, one of the groups leading the campaign.

Non-violent Protest in Buffalo

By Dan Cross

Early in the chilly morning of November 13, 2001, three Buffalo forest activists locked themselves to three trucks at a Staples distribution center in Amherst, New York, a suburb of Buffalo. Meanwhile ten demonstrators shouted clever cheers and carried signs exposing Staples' destruction of our forests as part of the Staples National Day of Action.

The forest activists stopped Staples from their Tuesday distribution route for over two hours, before they were cut free of the trucks. Three (the ones locked to the trucks) were arrested by the Amherst police department and were arraigned and released later that day.

On March 19, the three activists were sentenced to 5 days in jail and $250 in restitution.

The three protesters were realeased after spending a night at the Erie County Holding Center.










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