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VF Corp Acts to Minimize Impacts on Endangered Forests

VF Corporation, the makers of Lee and Wrangler, released its first-ever set of guidelines for the purchasing and use of sustainable forest materials and products.

The Forest Derived Materials Policy aims to avoid the issues associated with deforestation and forest degradation including the loss of endangered forests, loss of biodiversity and habitat, use of forced labor in making forestry products and loss of indigenous peoples and local community rights. The policy also encourages the use of recycled fiber whenever possible, and promotes the use of Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and fiber.

The policy affects all aspects of VF’s supply chain, from hang tags and packaging to fabrics.

“Deforestation and forest degradation continues to be a global issue affecting climate change and human rights,” said VF Vice President of Global Corporate Sustainability Letitia Webster. “This policy provides clear guidance across our many purchasing categories and it enables us to play our part in protecting the world’s forests.”

VF partnered with a number of NGOs and external stakeholders to develop the guidelines, including Canopy, a not-for-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting forests, species and climate. The policy falls in line with the company’s other sustainable initiatives, including policies for the purchase and use of conflict minerals, cotton country of origin, and animal derived materials.

Last year the Greensboro, North Carolina-based company announced it reduced its global carbon emissions by 12 percent between 2011 and 2015—trouncing the 5 percent goal originally set for that five-year period.