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Avery Dennison Sets Paper Policy, But No Deadlines

Avery Dennison has published a company-wide responsible paper procurement policy that the company says encourages sustainable paper sourcing and procurement — but it doesn’t set any target deadlines or percentages.

The policy says the labeling and packaging materials company will procure paper products made only from non-controversial sources of virgin wood fiber, and commits to expand and promote its use of recycled paper materials, striving to maximize post-consumer recycled content where possible.

Avery Dennison says it will progressively reduce the percentage of wood fiber in its paper that could come from non-sustainable sources by “working toward ensuring” the fiber source origin is known and traceable, doesn’t come from high conservation value forests, and doesn’t originate from areas where natural forests are being converted to timber production at a rate grater than 0.5 percent per year.

The document also says Avery Dennison will increase the use of wood/fiber that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or another credible third party, where market conditions and good business practices allow, and will survey its paper product suppliers to confirm the fibers’ source.

The policy says Avery Dennison will work with its suppliers on sustainable forest management practices, and will evaluate and reward supply-chain partners’ sound environmental performance.

The document also says Avery Dennison will publish progress toward meeting supply-chain commitments.

But the policy does not set numerical targets or deadlines for the increases in certified wood or post-consumer recycled content, and doesn’t place an outright ban on many of the controversial paper sources.

The company says the policy was developed with support from the Rainforest Alliance, and says it’s working with external certification experts, including Rainforest Alliance, to assess the potential risk to the company’s supply chain of illegal timber or irresponsibly harvested fiber and develop systems and procedures for documenting, verifying and reporting supplier performance.

Avery Dennison is a founding member of the Forest Products Working Group, launched in 2011 by the nonprofit organization GreenBlue. At the time, GreenBlue said the group will work to develop tools and resources to address issues including climate change, resource efficiency, forest health and biodiversity.

Sappi Fine Paper North America missed its 2012 goal for the proportion of certified fiber, according to its most recent sustainability report. The company increased the level of certified fiber use across its operations from 28 percent in 2007 to 51 percent in 2012, against a 60 percent sourcing goal. Sappi has since extended this goal to 2016 and increased the proportion of certified fiber it is aiming to use to 65 percent.

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