“The journey from tree, to pulp, to paper is a long one. It doesn’t happen overnight or without the input of people across the supply chain. And because that journey impacts forests around the world, we aim to have it begin and end with sustainability at its core,” wrote Chasity Prince, senior buyer in stationary for Walmart Inc.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart has a zero net deforestation goal, using pulp and paper sourcing practices that seek to reduce the company’s forest “footprint” and promote sustainable management and conservation efforts.
According to Prince, this goal is important because deforestation is occurring at a staggering pace. “Globally, we are losing the equivalent of a soccer field’s worth of primary rain forest every six seconds due to production of agricultural and forest products and other human-caused impacts,” she said.
With back-to-school shopping right around the corner, Prince said that Walmart is strengthening sustainable sourcing requirements for products that contain paper and pulp (excluding wood pencils) sold in stationery departments across our U.S. stores. Walmart requires these products be made from either recycled material, virgin fiber certified to standards of the Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, or a mix of recycled and certified virgin fiber.
“With this step, we are extending our sourcing approach for paper products in Stationery departments across our U.S. stores to include both private and national brands,” Prince said. “That means customers can expect the same commitment to sustainability across all the brands available in Stationery departments of our U.S. stores.”
This move is part of Walmart’s larger goals related to deforestation. While sustainably sourced paper means additional requirements for buyers and suppliers, it’s a change that Walmart is making to promote forest health and preservation of forest resources into the future.
In addition, once Walmart has fully transitioned to certified and/or recycled content, packaging on products like loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, composition notebooks, planners, poster board and more will have FSC, SFI, PEFC or 100-percent recycled logos.
“Purchasing paper products made with fiber from responsibly managed forests or recycled fiber is an important action consumers can take to help sustain forests for people and nature,” said Linda Walker, senior director of forests, World Wildlife Fund. “We applaud the step Walmart is taking to strengthen its stationery sourcing requirements and help its customers be part of the solution.”