WASHINGTON, DC AND NEW YORK, NY —Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE: AVP) today announced it has joined the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) in North America, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) initiative to eliminate illegal logging and save the world’s most valuable and threatened forests. Through its membership, Avon is joining more than 270 companies globally that share a commitment to responsible forestry.
By participating in the GFTN, Avon will receive technical support from WWF to help meet its commitment that all papers used for the company’s product brochures distributed in more than 120 countries, plus other marketing papers, are sourced responsibly. Specifically, Avon has committed to purchase 100% of its paper from independently certified or post-consumer, recycled-content sources by 2020, with a preference for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper.
Members of GFTN make commitments to avoid illegal wood sources, phase out purchases of wood from unknown and controversial sources, and to increase their purchase of wood that originates from independently certified sources from well-managed forests. The certification system that best meets WWF key requirements for protecting environmental, social and economic values essential to maintaining priority forest regions is FSC.
“As a large brochure producer and consumer of paper products, Avon can drive sustainable solutions throughout the pulp and paper supply chain,” said Suzanne Apple, WWF’s VP for Business & Industry. “Avon’s commitment to purchase responsibly sourced paper demonstrates their leadership in responding to the alarming rate of deforestation driven by demand for timber, paper and agricultural products. We are eager to combine Avon’s global presence with WWF’s experience to protect the world's forests and as a result, our planet, biodiversity and people's well-being.”
Deforestation, especially in tropical climates, is accelerating, leading to climate change and a rapid decline in critical habitat for several species, notably primates, tigers and elephants. WWF’s recently released Living Planet Report finds that biodiversity has declined 60% in tropical areas. The report estimates that more than one billion people living in poverty rely directly on forests for their livelihoods, while about 32 million acres have been lost globally each year between 2000 and 2010, a size equal to the state of Mississippi.
“Avon is very pleased to join the Global Forest & Trade Network and partner with World Wildlife Fund,” stated Tod Arbogast, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for Avon. “Because Avon is a significant consumer of paper products, we are in a position to influence supply and demand, and contribute to the development of environmental solutions that conserve, protect and restore forests, protect biodiversity and ecosystem integrity, and result in long-term social and economic benefits to communities. These priority issues are at the forefront of the Avon Paper Promise and the Hello Green Tomorrow global initiative to help end deforestation, both launched in early 2010.”
Avon’s Environmental Commitments
Avon has already made progress in the area of responsible fiber sourcing. A quarter of Avon’s current product brochure paper is already FSC-certified or recycled. Through the Avon Paper Promise, launched in March 2010, Avon codified its practices and set new goals, including a commitment to purchase 100% of its paper from certified and or post-consumer, recycled-content sources by 2020, with a certification preference for FSC. Avon’s Paper Promise also includes commitments on reducing overall paper usage and gives preference to suppliers that can demonstrate cleaner production practices.
In addition, in early 2010, Avon launched the Hello Green Tomorrow program with the mission to empower a global women’s environmental movement to nurture nature, leveraging the company’s unique ability to educate, engage and mobilize worldwide. In the inaugural year, Hello Green Tomorrow launched in more than 50 countries and generated over $2 million to help restore the Atlantic Rainforest in South America, and expanded efforts are set for 2011.
The Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) is WWF’s initiative to eliminate illegal logging and drive improvements in forest management while transforming the global marketplace into a force for saving the world’s valuable and threatened forests. First established in 1991, the GFTN is the world’s longest-running and largest forest and trade program of its kind – assisting hundreds of companies in evaluating their procurement and implementing appropriate action plans to ensure sustainable supply. By facilitating trade links between companies committed to responsible forestry, the GFTN creates market conditions that help conserve forests while providing economic and social benefits for the businesses and people that depend on them. With combined annual sales of $68 billion, trading by GFTN participants represents 18% of all forest products bought or sold internationally every year. Read more about the GFTN’s work on supporting responsible forest management and trade at www.worldwildlife.org/naftn.
About Forest Stewardship Council
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC is a certification system that provides internationally recognized standards, trademark assurance and accreditation services to companies, organizations, and communities interested in responsible forestry.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.2 million active independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty, fashion and home products, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques and Mark. Avon is recognized as a global leader in corporate citizenship, and has raised more than $800 million worldwide for the causes of breast cancer, domestic violence and disaster relief through the Avon Foundation for Women and global philanthropic programs. The company is committed to enterprise-wide environmental stewardship, including constant environmental improvement as well as global mobilization through the Hello Green Tomorrow program. Learn more about Avon at www.avoncompany.com.