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Don’t Bag Indonesia’s Rainforests

In November 2009 the prestigious conglomerate of fashion and luxury brands Gucci Group decided to eliminate all paper made from Indonesian rainforests and plantations and from controversial suppliers like Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). The move was a first step in implementing an industry-leading paper policy and a continuation of the Gucci Group’s interest in stemming climate change, over fifteen percent of which comes from forest loss.

The Gucci Group’s move commits some of fashion’s most famous brands, including Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga to perhaps the luxury industry’s strongest paper policy. With its new policy, the Gucci Group has pledged to reduce the amount of paper it uses, eliminate fiber from high conservation value forests, and only to purchase recycled products or those certified by the Forest Stewardship Council by December 2010. With this policy, they are ensuring that all paper categories used by the group, from copy paper to shopping bags, do not come from endangered forests like those in Indonesia.

During the fall of 2009, RAN worked with fashion companies to help them examine their paper supply chains and sever connections with paper suppliers like Asia Pulp and Paper who are actively destroying Indonesia’s rainforests. Gucci Group’s new policy put them at the front of the long list of major companies, including Tiffany & Co., H&M Group, Ferragamo, Versace, Billabong, Osborne & Little, OKA Direst, and Hugo Boss, who are taking concrete action to clean their supply chains of rainforest paper and severing relationships with companies who continue to destroy high conservation and endangered forests in Indonesia and elsewhere.

Worldwide, the degradation and destruction of tropical rainforests is responsible for more than fifteen percent of all annual greenhouse emissions. The carbon emissions resulting from Indonesia’s rapid deforestation account for up to five percent of global emissions: more than the combined emissions from all the cars, planes, trucks, buses and trains in United States. This huge carbon footprint from forest destruction has made non-industrialized Indonesia the third-largest global greenhouse gas emitter, behind only the U.S. and China.

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