Sometimes companies want to do better, but they need guidance in getting there.
Our market solutions approach is a comprehensive strategy to help companies move beyond having a good environmental policy on paper to making changes that save forests on the ground. We all need companies that buy huge amounts of lumber and paper to take big strides in reducing their consumption and improving the environmental qualities of the wood and paper they purchase.
Life on earth depends on it.
We are increasingly concerned about how our purchases affect the environment. There are important changes each individual can make. But the scale of change ramps up when one or 10 or 100 corporations stop buying wood and paper from unsustainably managed forests and increase the amount of alternatives, like recycled, that they buy. The big buyers send a market signal that things have to change to the companies who log endangered forests, to the governments that allow it, and to the mills that process the wood and paper products. The more market signals from big buyers, and the clearer they are, the quicker we will see good forest practices and an increase in the production of alternatives for paper.
Many businesses have discovered that using natural resources more efficiently can reduce costs and improve supply chains. Furthermore, improving performance on sustainability issues can motivate employees, spark creativity, and build brand identity with customers. So it’s no coincidence that the companies that set the standards for their industries also have strong environmental practices.
Our Market Solutions program provides guidance and information to companies interesting in make choices that are better for people and the environment. It takes each companies’ commitment to do better and connects it with others companies doing the same to amplify the leverage of these giant purchasers down the supply chain.
Here are some of the ways that we do that:
Build & support industry leaders
Our Market Solutions program helps companies distinguish themselves as environmental innovators and protectors. Tapping into both in-house expertise and an extensive external network, we provide:
- Information and evaluation on the best (i.e. FSC) and the sub-standard (e.g. SFI) forest practices certification systems;
- Information on paper or wood products with the most and the least environmental impact;
- Template policy and support implementing it;
- Methods to improve efficiency of wood and paper use;
- Coordination of roundtables with corporate buyers to develop collective strategies to green their supply chain; and
- Sector scorecards and researched materials that help companies up their game on environmental protection.
To protect species like Woodland Caribou or Orangutans and keep carbon stored in trees and forest soils the biggest users of lumber and paper have to step up to become part of the solution better and faster.
Provide public recognition when companies do the right thing
When companies do make significant strides to protect forests we let the public and their peers in the business world know. We give recognition where it’s due.
The consumer dollar offers tremendous leverage. Given a choice, many people prefer less-polluting, more responsible products. Once a company has good standards, conservation targets, and recommended practices in place, we like to share this information with consumers so they can make make purchasing decisions that match their values.
"We have gone from being in a defensive role to real advocacy…Our relationship with ForestEthics is a true partnership, a true collaboration. We want to contribute to forest sustainability and we are not turning back from that."
— Tom Katzenmeyer, former Sr. Vice President, Limited Brands (Victoria's Secret)
This strategy has a proven track record of success. Not only have dozens of big brands made commitments to protect forests, but we’ve also helped our corporate partners become influential leaders on important environmental issues. [Link to ‘corporate successes’ page]. If you think about it, companies like 3M, Staples, Lowes and Office Depot sell a lot of wood and paper products. We have worked with all of them to eliminate the worst suppliers, demand FSC certified products and increase the use of recycled or other alternatives like agricultural fiber for paper.