On Wednesday, Greenpeace released a report exposing Best Buy for fuelling destruction in Canada’s Boreal Forest, one of the world’s last remaining ancient forests. The report reveals the electronics retail giant – which has been heralded for its leadership in e-waste collection and recycling — is apparently buying more than 100 million pounds of paper every year to produce throw-away flyers, from Resolute Forest Products — a company that sources almost exclusively from the Boreal.
“Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but Best Buy is using shocking amounts of paper from Canada’s endangered Boreal Forest to promote its sales,” said Dr. Amy Moas, Greenpeace’s Senior Forest Campaigner. “This forest has been growing for centuries. Best Buy can help stop its destruction by strengthening its paper-sourcing policy, rather than wasting ancient trees one flyer at a time.”
Resolute Forest Products is a controversial Canadian pulp and paper company that has previously been exposed for logging in endangered forests and the habitat of threatened caribou herds, for disregarding First Nations rights, and for repeatedly violating forestry regulations and making false sustainability claims.
Greenpeace assessed Best Buy’s paper-buying policy against a cross-sectoral sample of other consumer companies that source paper and timber from the Boreal Forest, including sustainability leaders such as Kimberly-Clark and Office Depot; Best Buy came in last.
The new report is part of Greenpeace’s campaign for a healthy Boreal Forest that can support communities and sustainable businesses. Canada’s ancient Boreal Forest contains an estimated 208 billion metric tons of carbon, 25 percent of the planet’s wetlands and iconic species such as caribou, wolverine and lynx. It is also home to a number of Indigenous communities. Canada recently emerged as the world’s worst country for loss of intact forests, largely in the Boreal Forest.
Greenpeace isn’t the only organization standing up for the Boreal — Canadian NGO Canopy is leading a number of initiatives and engaging with a variety of prominent brands across the paper, fashion and textile industries to urge sourcing of materials from more sustainable sources.