Levi's could no longer collaborate with paper suppliers blamed for destroying rainforests[*UPDATE January 19, 2012] The APP has reached out to us and provided some clarification on the issue. Their statement is included in full below, at the end of the article.
Nowadays, major brands do everything in their power to preserve their reputation and increase profit margins without disrupting the environment. Levi Strauss & Company is one of them, committing to use organic cotton and decrease the carbon footprint of its products.
Following this path, the next important step would be to abandon any collaboration with partners that are currently being criticized for their unsustainable practices. This could be the case of Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a giant paper supplier blamed for the massive destruction of rainforests in Sumatra, The Rainforest Action Network speculates.
Levi's has reportedly acknowledged the fact that some of its packaging products are far from illustrating its environmental awareness, having decided to start looking for greener alternatives.
Beneficial changes are expected in the near future, since Levi Strauss & Company will make sure that it will "not knowingly purchase wood and paper products from endangered forests and other highly controversial sources such as high-risk regions for illegal logging."
Apart from being eager to preserve water resources, the company will also lower the amount of packaging material previously required while relying on recycled materials as soon as possible, to obtain eco-friendly products.
At the same time, the major company plans to shift away from chlorine-based paper wrapper, to decrease pollution risks.
"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," explained Lafcadio Cortesi, Forest Campaign director for RAN.
The APP's response to ongoing rumors is as follows:
"While it is Asia Pulp & Paper Group’s policy not to discuss any commercial matters pertaining to our customers, it’s crucial to note that Levi-Strauss (Levi’s) is public only in their support of FSC certification in procurement, not that they have dropped APP, as Rainforest Action Network (RAN) suggests. This can be seen directly in the Levi-Strauss’ sustainable forest procurement policy. Neither Asia Pulp & Paper (nor the country of Indonesia) is specifically mentioned anywhere within the policy.
APP encourages western companies to adopt procurement policies that support sustainable practices in developing countries like Indonesia. We also support a wide range of forest certification schemes, and applaud companies’ efforts to ensure their products adhere to these standards. APP believes that policies that adopt rigorous, globally recognized certification schemes should not exclude the legal and sustainable products coming from countries like Indonesia."