The new guidelines, which were developed with input from WWF, will guide paper purchasing at Office Depot. Worldwide, the company has more than 1,600 retail stores with sales of $10.7 billion in 60 countries.
From FSC’s perspective, the new policy sets an important precedent, most notably by establishing a tiered approach to environmentally responsible paper.
The policy identifies specific forest certification systems – including FSC, SFI, ATFS and PEFC – as minimum requirements for all paper products. As of 2012, 91.6 percent of Office Depot paper purchases met these minimum requirements.
Critically, Office Depot’s goes further to articulate a clear preference for FSC-certified fiber, which is new in this policy. In the press announcement, the company explained that in part the preference for FSC was due to “Office Depot analysis of the principles and on-the-ground practice of forestry in FSC-certified forests.”
The goal of the new policy is to “help increase the Company’s overall use of FSC fiber, which stands at 10.1% of its virgin copy paper by weight since 2011.”
In the announcement, FSC Director General Kim Carstensen stated that, “Office Depot's new purchasing policy sets an important precedent by recognizing the very real benefits unique to FSC and reflects a deep understanding of what it takes to protect forests for future generations. When companies ask us what a good forest policy should look like, we will point to Office Depot. The Forest Stewardship Council commends Office Depot for its forward-looking leadership."
For more information, you can read the entire release here.