Disney has announced a new paper sourcing policy, after two years of talks with the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), to eliminate paper sourced from High Conservation Value Areas (click here to see what applies), maximize use of recycled paper and Forest Stewardship Council certified non-recycled paper, and minimize the consumption of paper overall. The policy will begin being implimented to the company’s entire global supply chain and operations—media outlets, theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, product packaging, copy paper, and publishing operations—by the end of 2013.
In a statement, Disney writes:
One component of the goal of reducing our environmental footprint is the responsible use of forest resources. In its March 2011 Corporate Citizenship Report Disney published a goal that 100% of paper sourced for products and packaging by its non-licensed businesses be sustainable. The paper sourced will contain recycled content, be sourced from certified forests, or be of known source origin. As a next step Disney is developing a company-wide paper policy that will expand this goal to include all paper associated with licensed products and packaging bearing Disney characters, marks or brands.
This endeavor was spearheaded by The Rainforest Action Network, who approached Disney in 2010 and even launched a public campaign at Disney Studios in Los Angeles after lab tests revealed 60% of paper tested in Disney children’s books were linked to Indonesian rainforest destruction. RAN reveals that Disney immediately responded and the two organizations “entered into high-level negotiations.”
What is the direct benefit? This decision by Disney means they will no longer be controversially sourcing paper from sources that are linked with the deforestation in Indonesia.
The Rainforest Action Network cites on their website:
Indonesia’s rainforests are being destroyed at an estimated rate of 2.5 million acres each year. On Sumatra, an Indonesian island bigger than the state of California, two paper giants – Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) and Asia Pacific Resources International (APRIL) – are responsible for the lion’s share of this rainforest destruction. While only about 400 Critically Endangered Sumatran tigers remain in the wild, APP and APRIL continue to destroy their remaining rainforest habitat for throwaway paper products.
Disney’s policy makes clear that rainforests are more valuable left standing than pulped for paper. This policy adds Disney to a growing list of companies that are turning away from deforestation in their supply chains and sending strong signals to APP, APRIL and others in the pulp and paper industry that they must institute major reforms that protect forests and address social conflict and human rights violations. Disney’s commitment will reduce the demand for paper made at the expense of rainforests while creating incentives for improved forest management and green growth.