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Amazon, Costco, Xpedx Fail to Make the ‘Green’ Grade

Office retail stores FedEx Office, Office Depot and Staples earned top grades in the latest Green Grades office supply report card that ranks office retailers, mass market retailers and wholesalers/distributors on their paper practices. Laggards include Amazon, Costco, and xpedx earning overall “F+” and “D” and “D-” grades, respectively. The report also finds that eco-label “greenwashing” is still rampant throughout the office supply sector.

Conducted by environmental groups ForestEthics and Dogwood Alliance, the fourth annual report card aims to inform large business purchasers of office supply products about which companies’ paper practices protect the environment and the world’s forests.

While FedEx Office, Staples and Office Depot are undertaking projects to protect endangered forests and improve logging practices in the regions where they buy their paper, Amazon.com, Costco and xpedx continue to fall short on critical questions about the sustainability of their products and processes, according to the report. Middle of the road companies such as Target and PaperlinX, each of which is adopting new green paper purchasing policies, are making progress toward making the grade.

The companies are ranked on several factors including chain of custody, endangered forests, plantations and controversial sources, FSC certification, and recycling and reduction. A new category, SFI Greenwash, was added to this year’s grades to address what the groups call “rampant use of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s phony eco-label on office supply products.”

According to ForestEthics and the Dogwood Alliance, SFI labels and certification provide “green” cover for practices such as large-scale clearcutting, endangered forest logging, and conversion of forests to sterile tree plantations.

This year’s grades also reflect a growing commitment to protect endangered forests and increased scrutiny of the impact that a company’s paper habits have on global climate, according to the report. There is also an increased commitment from a number of companies to improve their paper practices through the use of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification system.

Here’s a link to last year’s grades.

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