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[GreenYes] Fwd: [jtrnet] Wall St. Journal on Greening of Staples

>From: "Peter Anderson" <>
>To: "JTRNET" <>
>Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 11:33:25 -0600
>Staples' Recycled-Content Goal
>For Paper Items Triples to 30%
>Staples Inc., under pressure from environmental activists, said it aims to
>more than triple the amount of recycled material in the paper products it
>sells -- a move that could pressure rival retailers to follow suit.
>The big Framingham, Mass., office-supply company also said it will phase 
>out paper products sourced from "endangered forests" and intends to offer, 
>by the end of 2006, only products made from forests certified as well-managed.
>Important elements of Staples' new environmental program remain to be
>determined. Staples didn't set a timetable for boosting the recycled 
>content in its paper products to an average of 30% from less than 10%, 
>noting that supply constraints, consumer demand and profitability would be 
>factors. And the company said it continues to work with scientific 
>consultants and environmentalists to figure out how it will define 
>"endangered" forests.
>Still, environmentalists praised Tuesday's announcement as a major
>milestone. By setting the 30% target for recycled content, Staples "has 
>put itself way ahead of the pack," said Todd Paglia of ForestEthics, a San
>Francisco environmental group that helped spearhead hundreds of
>demonstrations at Staples stores in the past two years. Other retailers are
>likely to follow Staples' lead, Mr. Paglia said.
>Office Depot Inc., Delray Beach, Fla., has been seeking to become more
>environmentally friendly for "a number of years" but has stepped up 
>efforts over the past two years, said company spokeswoman Eileen Dunn. 
>"Our overall recycled content is in the double digits," she said.
>OfficeMax Inc. plans to evaluate "some of the valid points that some of
>these [environmental] groups bring up," said Steve Baisden, a spokesman 
>for the Shaker Heights, Ohio, retailer. Mr. Baisden said he wasn't sure 
>what the overall percentage of recycled content is in the company's paper 
>Joseph Vassaluzzo, Staples' vice chairman, said paper with recycled 
>content generally is "slightly more expensive" than paper made from virgin 
>fiber, but Staples aims to reduce the price gap. Already, Staples is 
>encouraging consumers to move more toward recycled-content paper by 
>pricing it competitively, Mr. Vassaluzzo said. For instance, a 500-sheet 
>ream of the company's store-brand, 30%-recycled copy paper now retails for 
>$2.75, the same as its virgin-fiber variety. He declined to compare profit 
>margins of the various product lines but said the new environmental policy 
>could have a positive impact on profits "if consumers embrace the idea."
>The Dogwood Alliance, an Asheville, N.C., group that was active in
>pressuring Staples, predicted the retailer's new procurement policy will
>help preserve ecologically rich forest areas in the U.S. South.
>Environmentalists also will be pushing for Staples to classify parts of
>Canada's vast boreal forest as endangered.
>International Paper Co., a major Staples supplier and big Southern 
>producer, is "a very enthusiastic supporter of Staples' environmental 
>policies," said Jennifer Boardman, a spokeswoman for the Stamford, Conn., 
>forest-products titan. "We'll work with Staples to develop and produce 
>whatever they feel has great demand for the consumer," she said.
>Domtar Inc., a Montreal forest-products company that supplies copy paper 
>to Staples' Business Depot stores in Canada, recognizes that some areas 
>within the country's northern forests "have high conservation values and 
>should be protected," said spokesman William George. But the debate over 
>identifying such areas should be "based on scientific fact" and "not just 
>innuendos" and emotional arguments, he said.
>Write to Joseph Pereira at and Christopher J.
>Chipello at
>Peter Anderson
>4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
>Madison, WI 53705
>Ph:    (608) 231-1100
>Fax:   (608) 233-0011
>Cell    (608) 438-9062

Gary Liss
Fax: 916-652-0485

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