The EU Ecolabel allows forest destruction: a report released by FERN investigates the award of the EU Ecolabel to two copypaper brands, Golden Plus and Lucky Boss, manufactured by the Indonesian company Pindo Deli.
Pindo Deliis part of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), one of the world's most controversial pulp and paper companies.
Known as the 'EU flower', the EU Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme aimed at making it easier for consumers to find green products and for companies to market their products as being green. The Ecolabel was established in 1992. By April 2009, the Ecolabel had been awarded to more than 3,000 products.

According to the Ecolabel website, "Choosing ecolabelled paper guarantees paper coming from recycled fibres or sustainably managed forests". Reality is different:

In 2007, according to APP's Environmental and Social Sustainability report, Pindo Deli's raw material came 75-80 per cent from APP's pulp mills in Sumatra: Lontar Papyrus and Indah Kiat.

  • Lontar Papyrus has a 30 years agrement with PT WKS for establishing, maintaining and harvesting plantations, and Lontar Papyrus is PT WKS's priority client for wood sales, at a price to be decided and with payment in advance. Many of these plantations are established by converting natural forests. In July 2009, members of a French TV reporting team were arrested and detained by security for three hours at PT Lontar Papyrus Pulp and Paper Industries. They were investigating illegal logging in Jambi province, Sumatra.
  • Indah Kiat has signed a similar agreement with PT Arara Abadi, also part of Sinarmas Forestry. This company in December 2008 was responsible of the fire boming on the village of Suluk Bongkal, where a 700 person strong force of police and private security forced the villagers from their homes and fire bombed over 300 structures. Seventy persons were arrested and two children died as consequence of the events.

In short, a system of paper mills and logging companies, controlled by the APP - Sinar Mas group, processing fibres coming from deforestation and human rights violations.

The report EU Ecolabel allows forest destruction releaed by FERN concludes that the EU Ecolabel criteria for sustainable forest management for copy & graphic paper and the revised version (latest draft from December 2009) are very weak and not adequate to ensure that the most egregious forest operations are excluded. In addition, the EU Ecolabel award process is non-transparent and the EU Ecolabel should be withdrawn for Pindo Deli's brands of photocopy paper.

As the EU Ecolabel process is not transparent, it is not possible to be certain that other brands that have been awarded the EU Ecolabel are free from fibres from destructive forest management.


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