The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Eddie Scher, ForestEthics,, 415-815-7027
Donna Fleming Runyon, 3M,, 651-736-7646

ForestEthics Applauds 3M's New Industry-Leading Sustainability Plan: Revised Policies Enhance Protection of Endangered Forests, Local Communities and Wild Places

Bellingham, WA

ForestEthics today announced support of a new 3M sustainability policy that will ensure that the maker of Post-it Notes will have a minimal impact on forests, wildlife and human rights.

3M's paper-based products and packaging require pulp and paper from sources around the world. Working in collaboration with ForestEthics and Greenpeace, the company launched a review of all of its pulp and paper procurement expectations to ensure its materials are produced from sustainably-logged timber. 3M will now hold paper and pulp suppliers accountable to one of the highest standards in the industry for environmental protection and respect of human rights.

Key elements of the new 3M paper policy:

  1. 3M will work with suppliers to trace the origin for all of the wood, paper and pulp it buys and will not source fiber that was obtained in a manner that threatens high-conservation value forests, as defined by guidance developed by the High Conservation Value Resource Network.

  2. 3M will ensure that its suppliers are granted free, prior and informed consent by indigenous peoples and local communities before logging operations occur

  3. 3M will no longer promote or use the SFI label.

  4. 3M has hired additional staff to implement its policy worldwide, and has already begun training in the implementation of its updated policy.

  5. 3M will publicly report progress in evaluating its fiber's chain of custody, establish benchmarks for recycled fiber and tree-free fiber and report on those, and report on the amount of FSC fiber used.

  6. 3M will publish semi-annual updates of its progress on implementing its policy. These updates will be available on the 3M and The Forest Trust websites.

  7. 3M will cease doing business with suppliers who do not adhere to its principles, and has already taken action to sever business with suppliers out of compliance with its new standards.

  8. 3M is taking steps to reduce the amount of paper and pulp that it uses and increase its use of recycled paper and fiber.

3M is working closely with its pulp and paper suppliers to ensure adherence to the newly revised sourcing policy has already cancelled its contract with the Indonesian Royal Golden Eagle Group-owned suppliers because of their unsustainable logging and human rights records and has committed to helping them raise their performance, if necessary, in order to meet the requirements. 3M has also informed controversial logging company Resolute Forest Products that it is concerned about fiber it receives from the company due to fractious First Nations relationships, logging of caribou habitat and High Conservation Areas. 3M is considering alternative supply arrangements should Resolute fail to expeditiously quickly reverse these practices.

"Consumers will know that any 3M product they buy is made from forests that were responsibly managed and harvested," said Jean Sweeney, vice president, 3M Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability Operations. "This policy will ensure that all of the tree fiber that goes into 3M's innovative consumer products also meets 3M's high standards for protecting the environment."

ForestEthics, which is calling off its multi-year campaign against 3M, and Greenpeace applauded the new policy.

"Consumers are increasingly demanding assurance that the products they buy are produced in way that protect our environment and respect human rights - the kind of transparency and leadership 3M offers in this revised policy represents an important step forward for the industry," said Todd Paglia, executive director of ForestEthics. "ForestEthics appreciates 3M's commitment to continuous improvement and looks forward to our continued collaboration."

"By cutting business ties with controversial forest destroyers like the Royal Golden Eagle Group, 3M is demonstrating that it is serious about turning its new policies into real-world change" said Rolf Skar, forest campaign director for Greenpeace."

"3M will now know exactly where its pulp and paper is coming from," said Jim Ace, ForestEthics campaigner. "3M will eliminate its use of the SFI label, and make sure fiber from old growth forests, tropical rainforests, and indigenous lands doesn't make its way into the products we use every day. This policy is good for 3M, it's good for our forests, and it's good for consumers."

Founded in 2000, ForestEthics is a nonprofit environmental organization with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile. Our mission is to protect Endangered Forests and wild places, wildlife, and human wellbeing--one of our focus areas is climate change, which compromises all of our efforts if left unchecked. We catalyze environmental leadership among industry, governments and communities by running hard-hitting and highly effective campaigns that leverage public dialogue and pressure to achieve our goals.