Paper Trailers

Last april, nonprofit ForestEthics launched a campaign that put catalog companies on notice: Get out of endangered forests and adopt more environmentally friendly practices within 30 days—or be exposed through protests, press releases, and newspaper ads. Now the group is going after catalogers that didn’t comply, including Sears Holdings Corporation, one of the worst offenders.“We want to totally transform the industry,” says Michelle Medeiros, ForestEthics’ managing director.
They seem to be on their way. After two years and more than 750 protests, including ads criticizing Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie seller’s parent company, Limited Brands Inc., agreed in December 2006 to phase out catalog paper from endangered forests like North America’s Boreal Forest. ForestEthics celebrated another success in August when J. Crew agreed to print a percentage of its catalogs on Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), post-consumer, recycled paper.

After taking on Sears and rolling out a scorecard this holiday season, which will rate catalog leaders and offenders, ForestEthics plans to launch an attack on the direct mail industry next spring. In other words, junk mailers beware—you’re next.

Issue 25

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