Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Another victory for Greenpeace - Mattel instructs its suppliers to stop sourcing pulp from APP!

Environmental Leader reported earlier today that "Mattel has pledged to create a sustainable procurement policy and directed suppliers to put a freeze on purchases from Asia Pulp & Paper, following Greenpeace protests over the origin of its packaging."

Mattel wrote on its Facebook page: "We know deforestation is an important issue. It is to us as well. Today we announced the development of a Sustainable Procurement Policy for all of Mattel’s product lines. This policy will require packaging suppliers to commit to sustainable forestry management practices."

Mattel also referred on this page directly to APP:

"Today Mattel launched an investigation into deforestation allegations. While Mattel does not contract directly with Sinar Mas/APP, we have directed our packaging suppliers to stop sourcing pulp from them as we investigate the allegations."

This announcement added Mattel to a growing list of companies that stopped making business with APP, either directly or indirectly following Greenpeace campaigns against APP in the past. These companies include Carrefour , Tesco, Kraft, Nestlé and Unilever. When I asked Ian Lifshitz, Sustainability & Public Outreach Manager at APP, about it in an interview we conducted with him last year, he replied:

APP is a brand umbrella for paper products manufactured by several pulp and paper companies in Indonesia and China. APP operates independently from PT. SMART Tbk's palm oil with different entities, management and shareholders.

Despite the circulating rumours started by the GP report, overall volume of APP products to customers has not been impacted upon. Most our associates know that these rumours are unfounded.

Greenpeace by the way doesn't see in Mattel's announcement the end of story - they wrote on their blog that "Mattel’s latest statement, released on Friday in the US, suggests that the company now recognises it has a deforestation problem. However, it isn’t out of the woods yet and the company must provide more details and clear timelines to show that they are serious about dealing with these issues."

APP's response? According to Environmental Leader,
APP responded to the Greenpeace allegations, saying in part, “Greenpeace’s allegation that it found mixed tropical hardwood fibers in some products that we might have produced is meaningless. Indonesia’s pulpwood land concessions, legally provided by the Government of Indonesia, include some degraded forests, which are required by law to be developed into plantations…"

We'll keep you posted with any further developments in this story.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Planting trees for your books!