Japanese NGOs urge companies and government agencies to use ecologically correct paper
Concerned that in some regions where the Japanese paper market are sourcing their paper materials from are endangered ancient forests facing extinction in a few years, the five environmental organizations committed to forest conservation have been active on pushing actions from the consumer side, and are now appealing the need for corporations and government agencies to adopt a paper procurement policy conforming with this joint recommendation.
The joint recommendation, with a view to efficient use of resources such as recycled paper, outlines a 6-point guideline, and demands to create a procurement policy of paper products and concrete action plans in conformance with the recommendation, and also demands disclosure of this information to the public. It also recommends encouraging their suppliers to follow the actions. The recommendation is not limited to only the consumers; but it also asks producers and distributors of paper products to conduct their business conforming to the same guidelines.
The 6 points are as follows:
(1) To identify types, quantity and uses of all procured paper products, and to make clear the information of the source of all the paper products such as the quality of forest management from which they are sourced. Do not use paper products made from virgin pulp where such information is not clear.
(2) As a minimum requirement, it must be verified that the source of the virgin pulp in the procured paper products must be from a source that involves legal logging operations.
(3) Virgin pulp in the procured paper products must not come from a source where it destroys the ecosystem of high conservation value forests.
(4) Virgin pulp in the procured paper products must not originate from areas which exploit the livelihood or human rights of local residents or workers, or cause oppositions or conflict with stakeholders.
(5) Management of forests (including plantations) from which virgin pulp of procured paper products originates, must not be such that it conducts large-scale clear-cutting of natural forests which causes oppositions or conflict with stakeholders in terms of having a serious impact on the original ecosystem, uses herbicides and fertilizers that harm the surrounding environment, or uses genetically engineered species.
(6) As for virgin pulp in the procured paper products, whether originating from natural or planted forest, aim to use paper products from sources that can be traced from production to consumption, be subject to inspection by a third party and is certified as well managed forests by a reliable certifying body. In case such certification is not available, give priority to raw materials originating from forests which conduct continuous improvement toward certification.
Many corporations in Western countries are advancing in efforts to obtain ecologically sound paper, by checking the source of procured paper, that is, which forests are logged, and also requesting their suppliers not to use materials from high conservation value forests.
The five environmental organizations will be appealing to companies and government agencies to adopt an ecologically ethical paper procurement policy in line with the group’s recommendation.
For more information:
Eishi Maezawa, Yoshiaki Nasu, Hideko Arai
Tel: +81 3 3769 1713
Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Japan
Tel: +81 3 5338 9800
Kenichi Nakazawa, Junichi Mishiba, Katsuo Suzuki
Forest Program, FoE Japan
Tel: +81 3 3951 1081
Yuki Sakamoto, Kanna Mitsuta
FairWood Campaign, Global Environmental Forum
Tel: +81 3 3592 9735
Japan Tropical Forest Action Network
Tel: +81 3 5367 2865