Levi’s drops Asia Pulp & Paper due to its link to deforestation in Indonesia

Levi’s drops Asia Pulp & Paper due to its link to deforestation in Indonesia

Levi Strauss & Company had issued a new policy that will exclude fiber from controversial sources from its products. The move will effectively bar Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) as a supplier, according to the Rainforest Action Network, a green group that is campaigning to reform APP’s sourcing practices, which the NGO says come at the expense of rainforests in Sumatra.

According to a forest products purchasing policy [PDF] posted on its web site last month, but originally drafted in December 2010, Levi’s will “not knowingly purchase wood and paper products from endangered forests and other highly controversial sources such as high-risk regions for illegal logging.” The clothing-maker will reduce consumption of forest resources by using recycled material, reducing packaging, and giving preference to products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to improve the environmental performance of the forestry sector.

“This will provide the most credible means of sourcing products from forests independently verified as being environmentally and socially well-managed,” Levi Strauss & Co. said in a statement. “FSC labeled products also carry assurances of chain-of-custody transparency and minimize risks relating to many controversial sources.”

Levi Strauss & Co. also said it would favor paper products processed without chlorine to reduce pollution, and would develop a training program for employees on forest stewardship and environmental sustainability.

The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) welcomed the decision.

“Levi’s forest products purchasing policy sends a clear message to Asia Pulp and Paper that if they want to do business with respected global companies, they must stop destroying rainforests,” said Lafcadio Cortesi, Forest Campaign Director at RAN, in a statement. “It is time for APP to stop pulping Indonesia’s last rainforests for cheap paper products. Instead APP should support the country’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.”

Levi’s earlier stopped buying from PAK 2000, an APP affiliate, due to concerns over deforestation.

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