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Yum! Brands Sets Paper Purchasing Goal

Yum! Brands, parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, has set a goal of purchasing paper-based packaging with fiber from responsibly managed forests and recycled sources. The company says it will publish a detailed procurement policy with public targets to achieve its sustainable paper goals by 2014.

In the meantime, Yum! has developed sustainable sourcing principles and says it will ensure that paper and paper-based packaging products it buys do not knowingly come from illegal or other unwanted fiber sources. Unwanted fiber sources includes wood from high conservation value forests and forests that have been converted to plantations or non-forest use.

Additionally, the principles give preference to suppliers that source wood fiber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or other third-party. Yum! says it will also source paper and packaging from other national certification systems that are endorsed by the Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and will work with its suppliers to increase the proportion of certified material as larger quantities become available.

Yum! also says it will increase the amount of recycled content, as permitted by regulatory and technical constraints, across its global system. The company says limited availability of suitable recycled fiber restricts its access to the supply of these materials in some geographical areas; it will work to incorporate sustainable practices into all Yum! wrappers, napkins and containers worldwide.

Over the next several months, Yum! says it will engage with its suppliers and collect data on all paper-based packaging sourcing to assess the company’s current state. Yum! says it is collaborating with a third-party in this effort, which will result in the 2014 procurement policy, but doesn’t name the third-party.

In a blog post, Greenpeace calls Yum!’s sustainable paper efforts “finger lickin’ good news.” The organization says last year it showed wood fiber from rainforest trees ended up in KFC’s chicken buckets and other paper packaging. In response, activists donned tiger and orangutan costumes and dunked the Colonel in barbecue sauce, among other efforts to force the company to establish rainforest-friendly paper policies.

Last week, WWF accused Asia Pulp & Paper of causing the deforestation of more than 1.4 million hectares in Sumatra, Indonesia and violating its own zero-deforestation policy. In a report published the following day, APP fought back, saying its investigation did find evidence of clearing natural forest — but not related to APP.

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2 thoughts on “Yum! Brands Sets Paper Purchasing Goal

  1. This Yum! Brands announcement is one step forward and two steps back. Yum! Brand’s preference for FSC is good news, but continuing to source from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is a mistake. SFI is an industry-sponsored greenwash eco-label that greenwashes forest destruction. Shouldn’t corporations shift the market towards more environmentally responsible certifications like FSC, not greenwash industry-sponsored certifications like SFI?

  2. Jim – So how come APP was at one time certified by FSC but was never able to get a certification from SFI? Talk about greenwashing!

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