Rainforest Alliance, Gibson, Domtar and Time Inc. Commit to Clinton Global
September 26, 2007
In announcing its commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative, the
Rainforest Alliance has agreed to work with three global leaders in the
forest products sector on increasing their use of wood from responsibly
managed forestlands certified to the standards of the Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC).
Domtar, Gibson Musical Instruments, and Time have pledged to
increase their use of FSC-certified wood and paper products over five
years. For its part, the Rainforest Alliance aims to recruit additional
forestry operations for FSC certification, certify 170 million additional
acres of forestland, increase support for certified small and medium-
sized businesses, develop markets for certified products and help
ensure that the companies' suppliers meet FSC standards or are
working toward FSC certification.
"As these three major players in the paper and musical instrument
industries are demonstrating, large companies are taking sustainability
seriously and considering the long-term environmental, social and
economic implications of their purchases," said Tensie Whelan,
executive director of the Rainforest Alliance, who attended the Clinton
Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York this week. "Buying
wood products from FSC-certified forestlands supports responsible
forest management, conserves biodiversity and curbs deforestation."
Deforestation causes about 20 percent of
greenhouse gas emissions globally,
according to the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations. By
using products from FSC-certified forests,
businesses and consumers can help avoid
deforestation and reduce greenhouse
gases. Making responsible management a
viable source of income for communities in biodiverse areas gives
them an economic incentive to keep their forests intact and manage
them responsibly. Without that incentive, people living in forested
areas are more likely to clear their lands for grazing cattle, agricultural
expansion and other unsustainable activities.
The Rainforest Alliance has been working with Gibson since 1996,
when it became the first musical instrument company to produce
guitars using FSC-certified wood. Gibson -- the leading musical
instruments company in the United States -- has pledged to maximize
its purchase of FSC-certified wood during the next five years. Last
year, 42 percent of the wood purchased by Gibson-USA came from
lands that were FSC-certified or were working toward FSC certification.
In the next five years, Gibson-USA aims to increase that amount to at
least 80 percent.
"We are passionate about our commitment to the Clinton Global
Initiative and the Rainforest Alliance especially through the high
standards we set in producing FSC-certified products," said Henry
Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "At Gibson Guitar we
take very seriously our commitment to preserving our environments
globally and strive to continue to educate through our efforts with the
The Rainforest Alliance has been working on responsible paper
production and fiber sourcing with Montreal-based Domtar, the second
largest paper producer in the world, since 2003. The company has
expanded its FSC-certified paper offerings, from 13 certified product
lines in 2005 to 23 lines currently. As part of its commitment, Domtar
has pledged to reach out to forest owners in the regions where its new
mills are located to promote the support of FSC certification strategies
and increase the amount of FSC-certified
fiber it purchases.
Time, one of the largest publishing
companies in the entire world, has
increased the amount of certified fiber it
uses in magazine production from 25
percent in 2002 to 70 percent in 2006.
Time has achieved a majority of this
increase in the United States by
encouraging certification on public lands
and with small landowners. By 2009, the
company intends to have 80 percent of the fiber used in its products
certified to systems that meet the standards of Time's Certified
Sustainable Forests program, which includes FSC.
"Time is thrilled to be part of this exciting initiative," said David Refkin,
director for sustainable development at Time. "The commitment builds
upon our holistic sustainability practices and the work we have done
over many years to prompt sustainable forestry by incorporating new
issues, such as climate change, into our Certified Sustainable Forests
The Clinton Global Initiative is a non-partisan project of the William J.
Clinton Foundation that brings together leaders from around the world
to work on solving global challenges, including poverty alleviation,
global health, and energy and climate change, among others.
The initiative's 2007 annual meeting program was printed on FSC-
certified Domtar EarthChoice paper, which was donated by Domtar.
The program was printed by Pictorial Offset Corporation, a New
Jersey-based printer certified by the Rainforest Alliance to the FSC
About 1,000 members have made commitments to the Clinton Global
Initiative to create or support projects. Over the past two years,
members have made almost 600 commitments totaling nearly $10