Amazon.com Gets F+ for Paper Sustainability

<a href="http://heartofgreen.typepad.com/heart_of_green/2008/05/fsc-vs-sfi.html">Heart of Green</a>

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A new report (PDF) puts Amazon.com on the bottom of the heap when it comes to using sustainable paper. Forest Ethics and Dogwood Alliance’s “Green Grades 2010” gave the online retailer an F+, while companies like FedEx and Staples got As and Bs for their use of environmentally friendly paper. Amazon.com, named after the Amazon River in the Brazilian rainforest, “does not have a meaningful paper policy,” the report states. “Indeed the company appears to have no problem with buying and selling paper from endangered forests and other controversial sources…” You’d think that being based in the timber stronghold of the Pacific Northwest, Amazon.com would pay special attention to where its paper products are sourced from. The firm does plan to have LEED certified buildings on its Seattle campus, but the report points out that Amazon supports the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s (SFI) greenwashed eco-label. SFI standards allow for clear-cutting, logging close to streams and bodies of water, cutting old-growth forest, chemical use, and other harmful practices. The picture above says it all: you can see the difference between the SFI areas and those protected by the Forest Stewardship Council, which remains the only real eco-logo to look for in terms of paper products. No, FSC isn’t a perfect measure of forest health. But as you can see by the picture, it’s a hell of a lot better than the SFI label Amazon.com uses.

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In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

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