[GRRN] Lowe's Wood Procurement Policy Includes Reuse, Recycling

From: Bill Sheehan (bill_sheehan@mindspring.com)
Date: Tue Aug 08 2000 - 21:26:29 EDT

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    GrassRoots Recycling Network is working with forest
    activist groups to ensure that demand reduction
    -- including reuse and recycling -- are part of efforts
    to preserve forests.

    Below is Lowe's new policy (note #4) and an excerpt from
    a press release today from Dogwood Alliance, one of
    the forest groups out in front on demand reduction:

    Over the last 10 years, more than 100 chip mills (facilities
    that grind whole logs into wood chips for paper and
    chipboard) have been constructed in the South, causing
    accelerated clearcutting and the conversion of native
    forests to pine plantations. Industry experts predict a
    doubling of pine plantations in the region over the next
    two decades. In it's policy, Lowe's committed to "work
    with vendors to encourage the maintenance of natural forests
    and environmentally responsible forest practices".

    Local groups working on recycling across the South are
    also encouraged by Lowe's new policy. "It's nice to see a
    company the size of Lowe's adopt a policy to increase the
    purchase of recycled products and promote wood re-use,"
    said Bill Sheehan, Network Coordinator for the Georgia-
    based GrassRoots Recycling Network. "It's difficult for
    companies making recycled products to compete in the
    marketplace when big timber companies are being
    subsidized to clearcut our forests. Lowe's new policy may
    help start leveling the playing field for recycled products."


    The world's forests support the ecological and climate
    processes upon which biodiversity and human life
    depend. Lowe's is concerned about the protection of
    these critical resources and recognizes that, through the
    products we sell, our company can play an important
    role in determining whether these forests will remain for
    future generations. Lowe's long-term goal is to ensure
    that all wood products sold in our stores originate from
    well-managed, non-endangered forests. In order to
    meet this goal, Lowe's will:

    1. 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.

    2. Work with vendors to encourage the maintenance of
    natural forests and environmentally responsible
    forest practices.

    3. Give preference to the procurement of wood
    products from independently certified, well-managed
    forests. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is
    recognized as having the highest certification
    standard available today and will be given preference
    over other certification systems.

    4. Work with our customers to increase the efficiency
    of wood use, including the promotion of wood
    reuse, recycling, and advanced framing techniques.

    5. 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 used for printing and

    In order to accomplish our goal, we will support the
    work of the World Resources Institute, the Certified
    Forest Products Council, and other organizations that
    help to improve forest management practices
    worldwide. We will also ask our suppliers to help us to
    increase the supply of certified wood products that we
    can make available to our customers.


    Maps that designate "endangered forests" have been
    created in various levels of detail by organizations
    such as the World Resources Institute's (WRI) Global
    Forest Watch Program. As these designations are
    further developed, Lowe's will work with its suppliers
    to change their supply areas.

    Endangered forests (or high conservation value forests)
    include intact (primary and old growth) forests. They
    also include the most nearly intact tracts of all
    threatened forests and forests of special importance
    to the conservation of global biodiversity, where little
    or no primary and old-growth vegetation occurs today.

    In rare circumstances, wood from endangered forests may
    be accepted if it is certified under the Forest
    Stewardship Council (FSC) or equivalent system.

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