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Supply Chain
Consumer Product Brands Embrace Responsible Forestry

When it comes to forest products, Bio Pappel, HP, Melissa & Doug, REI and Amazon are all leaders in responsible sourcing. What does this commitment look like in practice?

More and more consumers are demanding sustainable attributes in the products they buy — encouraging retailers and consumer packaged goods companies to reap the benefits of this opportunity by providing products with tangible, credible environmental and social benefits.

When it comes to forest products, Bio Pappel, HP, Melissa & Doug, REI and Amazon are all leaders in responsible sourcing — a fact that earned them Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Awards for their deep commitment to responsible forestry and for making thousands of FSC-certified products available to businesses and consumers. What does this commitment look like in practice?

Bio Pappel is one of the largest recycled-paper manufacturers in North and South America, and the first Mexican company that is FSC certified for use of 100 percent recycled raw material in paper production. While Bio Pappel may not be a household name, it supplies some of the biggest brands — including Amazon and Titan packaging, Samsung packaging, Xerox paper, Scribe and pen+Gear notebooks, LALA Yomi milk and yogurt packaging, and Kirkland Signature food items. Its products can be found in Walmart, Costco and other major retailers.

“At Bio Pappel, we like to say that we are generating shared value,” says Israel Martinez, auditor at Bio Pappel. “In this sense, FSC certification gives us the guarantee of sustainable management of raw material coming from forests or recycled material used to produce paper — which consequently encourages more responsible consumption and allows end consumers to be more aware of their footprint on the planet.”

For more than a decade, HP and World Wildlife Fund have worked together to achieve HP’s responsible sourcing goals — including zero deforestation for its HP-brand paper and paper-based packaging. This collaboration has included the development of HP’s industry-leading responsible fiber-sourcing policy; By 2020, HP met this commitment with FSC-certified or recycled fiber sourced for over 95 percent of HP brand paper and paper-based packaging.

HP continues to expand on its commitment to responsible sourcing with additional efforts rooted in protecting, restoring and improving the management of forests. One example is HP and WWF’s work to increase the area of FSC-certified forest in China to 219,830 acres by 2025. As of July 2022, over 33,000 hectares (81,000 acres) of forest have been FSC certified in China.

Over the next decade, HP and WWF’s efforts will include collaborating with local communities and forest managers to increase FSC-certified forest areas in key landscapes, as well as identifying and addressing obstacles to obtaining FSC certification and improving forest-management practices. Ultimately, HP has committed $80 million to restoring, protecting and improving the management of nearly a million acres of forest — an area approximately five times the size of New York City.

As the #1 preschool brand for wooden toys, Melissa & Doug has a longstanding commitment to "making timeless, sustainable toys for a thriving and inclusive world.” The brand formalized its commitments with an initiative called "Project Restore," to more deeply integrate sustainability culture and practices across the organization.

After obtaining FSC Chain of Custody certification in 2020, the purpose-driven toy manufacturer became the first major US toy brand to earn FSC certification for its new stationery line, which was independently certified by SCS Global Services. Melissa & Doug is on track to achieve its commitment to ensure 100 percent of paper products and more than half of its wood products sold are FSC certified by 2025.

Healthy forests are essential for people to enjoy the outdoors; they’re also essential to REI’s business. REI uses fiber and the resulting paper products throughout its operations — in the form of flyers, cardboard, shopping bags, hangtags and more. As a co-op that inspires its members to spend more time outside, sustainable forestry is a natural focus.

REI prioritizes paper-based packaging for its own products that are FSC certified or made from certified post-consumer waste, and prioritizes paper products with the same attributes. With the assistance of the Outdoor Industry Association and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, REI published sustainable packaging guidelines to encourage and educate its vendors, including FSC as a preferred attribute. These guidelines support not only REI Co-op and Co-op Cycles, but also the brands they sell within their stores and the greater outdoor and cycling industries.

REI’s Product Impact Standards are designed to help its partner brands create more sustainable and inclusive products. Its paper and paper products purchasing policy is designed to positively influence paper supply chains well beyond the company’s immediate sphere and to support sustainable forestry.

FSC is one of many third-party certifications in Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly (CPF) program — which currently encompasses over 350,000 products, 20,000+ brands and counting. CPF was created to help customers discover and choose more sustainable products on Amazon.

At SB’22 San Diego, Zac Ludington — CPF’s Principal Program Manager — shared data from surveys on consumer trends and trust in sustainability certifications, noting:

  • 75 percent of consumers surveyed consider the use of sustainable materials to be an important purchasing factor. (McKinsey, EU)

  • 53 percent of Millennials say they are willing to forgo a brand in order to buy products that are environmentally friendly. (Nielsen, Global)

  • 49 percent of respondents are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly options. (Mintel, US)

  • 26 percent of consumers surveyed said they have started, or stopped, purchasing a product due to its environmental impact. (Shelton Group, US)

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