[GRRN] Fwd: Forests Victory with Lowe's

From: Gary Liss (gary@garyliss.com)
Date: Tue Aug 08 2000 - 14:09:45 EDT

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    >From: Global Response <globresponse@igc.org>
    >
    >Dear Members of Global Response's Quick Response Network:
    >
    >Great news from Rainforest Action Network! The campaign to stop purchasing
    >of wood and wood products from ancient forests just scored another victory!
    > The ball started rolling 2 years ago when The Home Depot announced a
    >phase-out of purchasing from ancient forests -- Global Response members
    >shared credit for that victory with our Home Depot letter campaign (GR
    >#4/98). Rainforest Action Network continues to press other wood products
    >retailers and home builders to stop buying ancient forest destruction. The
    >successes of this campaign are significant and inspiring!
    >
    >
    >For Immediate Release
    >August 8, 2000
    >Contacts: Brian Peace 336-658-4170
    >Chris Ahearn 336-658-7387
    >
    >Lowe's Unveils Unprecedented Business Initiative
    >To Help Protect World's Forests
    >
    >-- Collaboration with Environmentalists and Wood Suppliers
    >Sets Company as Global Leader in Responsible Wood Sourcing -
    >
    >-- Company Creates Healthy Forests Advisory Board --
    >
    >WILKESBORO, N.C. -- Lowe's Companies, Inc., the world's second largest home
    >improvement retailer, today released the details of its landmark lumber and
    >wood product procurement policy aimed at helping protect the world's
    >threatened forests. The company has committed to overhaul the sourcing of
    >lumber and wood in the products it sells while proactively engaging its
    >wood
    >suppliers and governments to take immediate steps towards the permanent
    >protection of critical forest areas.
    >
    >"Our new environmental policy represents a major victory for the forests
    >and
    >our customers," said Bob Tillman, Lowe's chairman and CEO. "Our customers
    >expect Lowe's to deliver the best quality lumber and wood products that
    >have
    >been responsibly harvested and produced by our suppliers."
    >
    >"In developing our policy, Lowe's pursued what some in the industry may
    >consider an unconventional approach," added Mark Kauffman, Lowe's senior
    >vice president of Merchandising. "We worked closely with the environmental
    >and scientific communities as well as our suppliers and facilitated a
    >number
    >of first-ever meetings between these groups."
    >
    >Today's announcement is the culmination of a multi-stepped corporate
    >initiative to bring together environmental organizations, including
    >Rainforest Action Network and the World Resources Institute (WRI), wood
    >suppliers, governments and industry organizations. Lowe's has taken an
    >active role in encouraging industry and government negotiations with groups
    >working to protect endangered forests in areas including the Pacific
    >Northwest, British Columbia and the Southeastern U.S.
    >
    >"The end result was a more balanced policy and what we hope will be a major
    >turning point for environmental discussions in the U.S.," added Kauffman.
    >
    >Under the Environmental Policy, Lowe's will:
    >
    >Aggressively phase out the purchase of wood products from endangered
    >forests
    >as these areas are identified and mapped. This includes an immediate ban on
    >wood coming from the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia;
    >Work with suppliers to encourage the maintenance of natural forests and
    >environmentally responsible forest practices;
    >Give preference to the procurement of wood products from independently
    >certified well-managed forests. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is
    >currently the company's preferred certification system, and FSC
    >certification will be given preference over other certification systems;
    >Work with our customers to increase the efficiency of wood use, including
    >the promotion of wood reuse, recycling and advanced framing techniques;
    >Work with our suppliers to increase the procurement of quality recycled,
    >engineered and alternative products (when their environmental benefits are
    >clearly demonstrated), including alternative fiber and tree-free paper
    >products for printing and packaging.
    >
    >Lowe's has already taken a number of important steps to become the industry
    >leader in implementing responsible wood purchasing. The company recently
    >eliminated ramin dowels sourced from Indonesia from its inventory and
    >converted to a domestic poplar species.
    >
    >Lowe's also announced the formation of a "Healthy Forests Advisory Board,"
    >which will help guide the company through its policy implementation process
    >and provide counsel on general forestry issues. The Advisory Board will
    >include environmental groups, environmental scientists, suppliers,
    >certifiers and buyer groups. The Board's first actions will be to address a
    >number of on-going environmental issues, such as the conversion of Southern
    >forests to pine plantations, commercial logging in U.S. National Forests
    >and
    >illegal logging concerns in certain foreign countries.
    >
    >With 1999 sales of $15.9 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is the world's
    >second largest home improvement retailer. Headquartered in Wilkesboro,
    >N.C.,
    >Lowe's is the 15th largest retailer in the U.S. as well as the 34th largest
    >retailer worldwide. Lowe's and its 100,000 employees are Improving Home
    >Improvement for nearly five million do-it-yourself retail and commercial
    >business customers each week at more than 600 stores in 39 states. For
    >more
    >information, visit lowes.com.
    >
    >- 30 -
    >
    >
    >Rainforest Action Network
    >Contact: Michael Brune, Shannon Wright
    > 415/398-4404; 415-596-RAIN (mobile)
    >
    >DO-IT-YOURSELF INDUSTRY LEADER DISCLOSES SWEEPING CHANGES IN WOOD-BUYING
    >PROGRAM
    >
    >LOWE'S 'UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH' MAY HELP SECURE PROTECTION FOR WORLD'S
    >REMAINING ENDANGERED FORESTS
    >
    >North Wilkesboro, NC-In a move with far-reaching implications for the
    >forest
    >product industry, Lowe's Companies, Inc., today revealed its new wood
    >product procurement policy that will dramatically alter the way the company
    >does business. The policy by the world's second largest home improvement
    >retailer includes detailed provisions for protection of endangered forests,
    >such as an immediate ban on wood from the Great Bear Rainforest of British
    >Columbia. The initiative also addresses critical domestic forest issues
    >such as logging of National Forests and conversion of native forests to
    >plantations, among other issues.
    >
    >"Lowe's has set the global standard for responsible wood buying." stated
    >Michael Brune, Old Growth Campaign Director for Rainforest Action Network
    >(RAN). "The end of old growth logging may soon be within our grasp, thanks
    >in part to leadership from Lowe's."
    >
    >Lowe's five point policy includes an aggressive phase out of wood from
    >endangered forests, a strong purchasing preference for wood that is
    >independently certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as coming
    >from well-managed forests, and commitment to engage with suppliers to
    >improve logging practices and to maintain native forests. Many of these
    >initiatives are currently underway. For example, Lowe's has already
    >eliminated ramin dowels derived from endangered tropical forests in
    >Indonesia.
    >
    >"We applaud Lowe's for showing uncommon courage and decisiveness in using
    >its purchasing power to leverage change within the logging industry," added
    >RAN's Brune. "Industry stalwarts such as Boise Cascade that don't meet the
    >challenges set by Lowe's, will be branded as corporate dinosaurs, unable
    >to
    >adapt in the new marketplace."
    >
    >Today's announcement comes after months of communication with forest
    >advocacy organizations, including Rainforest Action Network and the World
    >Resources Institute. In recent months Lowe's has shown unique persistence
    >in encouraging industry and government representatives to work with
    >scientists and environmentalists to create solutions to the problems posed
    >by unsustainable logging.
    >
    >
    >It is estimated that nearly three quarters of the world's old growth
    >forests
    >have been logged or degraded, much within the past three decades.
    >Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has worked with several dozen major
    >corporations to help them redirect wood purchases towards sustainable
    >sources. World Resources Institute (WRI) operates Global Forest Watch, a
    >non-profit agency working to map the world's remaining intact and
    >threatened
    >forests. Lowe's has worked with the Dogwood Alliance to further examine
    >unsustainable logging practices in the Southeastern U.S., with
    >Environmental
    >Investigation Agency (EIA) on ramin dowel sourcing, and with Natural
    >Resources Defense Council on forest certification issues.
    >
    ># # #
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >Michael Brune
    >Old Growth Forest Campaigner
    >
    >Rainforest Action Network
    >221 Pine St., Suite 500
    >San Francisco, CA 94104
    >415-398-4404
    >www.ran.org
    >
    >"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would
    >suffice to solve most of the world's problems"
    >
    >-Gandhi
    >
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    >
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    Gary Liss
    916-652-7850
    Fax: 916-652-0485



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