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."
LOWE'S WOOD PRODUCTS PROCUREMENT POLICY
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
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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