Disney has announced it will be eliminating paper connected to the destruction of endangered forests and animals from its operations and licensees, while maximizing recycled content and fiber sourced from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forestry operations. The company’s new policy calls for the elimination of paper products from illegally harvested woods; from High Conservation Value Areas (such as endangered forests and areas of old growth) being degraded by poor land use practices; from areas where paper fiber is harvested in violation of internationally accepted instruments protecting the rights of indigenous or forest-dependent peoples; from areas that have been converted from natural forests to plantations and other land uses after November 1994; and from plantations using genetically-modified trees.
The commitment also means Disney will not be sourcing from controversial paper giants Asia Pulp and Paper and Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings. APP is reportedly the third largest paper company in the world.
Disney also says it will work to reduce paper consumption, and increase the recovery of paper and packaging for recycling.
Disney is the world’s biggest publisher of children’s books and magazines. The new paper policy will be applied to the company’s entire global operations and those of its supply chain. The commitment includes Disney’s media networks, theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and all its product packaging, copy paper and book publishing, as well as the 3,700 licensees that use Disney characters. It will also influence the operations of 25,000 factories in more than 100 countries that produce Disney products, including 10,000 in China.
The company says its policy is the culmination of two years of conversations between executives and the Rainforest Action Network. Disney says it will continue to work with non-governmental organizations to identify and prioritize regions with poor forest management and high rates of deforestation.
Disney and RAN say that the commitment will have a particularly important impact in Indonesia, the primary place where tropical rainforests are still being cut down for paper. The pulp and paper industry is one of the main drivers of the estimated 2.5 million acres of rainforest cut down per year in Indonesia. The commitment should reduce the demand for paper made at the expense of rainforests while creating incentives for improved forest management and green growth, the organizations said.
Disney is the ninth major US publisher to have worked with RAN to announce rainforest commitments, after Scholastic, Hachette, Pearson/Penguin, Candlewick Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan, Random House and Simon & Schuster.