rainforest2Fantastic news yesterday that  Asian Pulp & Paper (APP), the world's third largest paper manufacturer, has declared an immediate halt to clearing natural forests in South East Asia.

Why this sudden volte face? Was it public outcry? Was it activists chaining themselves to trees?

No, it appears to have been mainly due to the company's blacklisting by a huge number of big brands - everybody from Fuji to Gucci via Volkswagen. Those brands didn't want to be associated with destructive clear felling of rainforest, so they simply went to suppliers who could guarantee sustainably-sourced materials. No customers = no business, it's that simple.

The huge buying power of big brands and major retailers has long been regarded as a malign force by the green movement, but we have seen is that power being used for good in recent years. If Walmart says 'jump', gazillions of suppliers around the world will jump. If they say 'go green or go away', chances are you'll see the sudden implementation of gazillions of new green initiatives.

And if big buyers work in unison as they appear to have done so in the APP case, then environmental villains will quickly find themselves without a customer base. Kudos to Greenpeace for understanding this and making the case to the big brands for APP's blacklisting.

So what about your supply chain? Whether you sit in the C-suite of Mega-Corp or act as an individual consumer, how are you going to use your buying power for the global good?

 

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