Greenpeace Says Wal-Mart, KFC, Others Destroying the Rainforest

by | Jul 7, 2010

Greenpeace claims that Wal-mart, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and other major brands are contributing to the destruction of the rainforest and extinction of Sumatran tigers and orangutans by using paper products from Indonesia, reports Irish Times. The environmental group is calling on these big brands to stop doing business with the paper and pulp division of Sinar Mas.

The Greenpeace report, “How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet” (PDF), shows how major brands are destroying Indonesia’s rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands by using or selling paper products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), part of the Sinar Mas group.

The report finds that APP uses the logs from two rainforest areas — Bukit Tigapuluh and Kerumutan — for its Sumatra-based pulp mills, which export paper products worldwide.

Several leading companies have already responded to Greenpeace evidence of the Sinar Mas conglomerate’s “illegal” environmental and deforestation practices in Indonesia and are canceling their contracts with the Indonesian palm oil and paper giant.

Carrefour says it has already stopped buying from APP for its own brands and Tesco will follow suit by the end of the year, while Kraft will phase out APP paper and packaging, reports Irish Times.

Kimberly Clark, Kraft, Nestlé and Unilever are in the process of implementing global sustainability policies for pulp and paper, which will exclude paper products from APP unless it makes substantial improvements to the sustainability of its fiber supplies, according to the report. Kimberly Clark says it has never sourced pulp from APP.

Unilever, Kraft and Nestlé also have canceled contracts with the Sinar Mas group’s palm oil division, also due to Greenpeace’s urging.

Greenpeace also reports that Staples, Office Depot, Woolworths (Australia), Franklin Covey, Fuji Xerox, Ricoh, Target, Unisource, H&M and Gucci have all decided to stop buying from APP, while PaperlinX, WHSmith, Corporate Express and Hewlett Packard are sourcing from APP in some regions.

Indonesia accounts for about one quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation, reports Irish Times. A study released last year shows that Indonesia is one of the biggest emitters due to peatland degradation.

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