INDONESIA: Wal-Mart refutes Greenpeace criticism

Posted by Josette Dunn on 7th July 2010

Wal-Mart said it was “surprised” by criticism levelled at it by Greenpeace, which has accused the retail giant of driving rainforest deforestation and pushing animals to extinction by buying products from Asia Pulp and Paper.In a statement, Wal-Mart senior director of international corporate affairs Kevin Gardner said the company did not source paper from APP for products sold in the retailer’s largest markets.

“Walmart does not support deforestation, and as Greenpeace’s report shows, our largest markets do not source product from APP, and in the remaining markets that do, we have taken the steps to stop development on private-brand products with APP and are looking at what measures can be taken regarding branded products,” Gardner said.

The report, ‘How Sinar Mas is Pulping the Planet’, claims that international companies are driving the destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests and carbon-rich peatlands by sourcing paper from Asia Pulp and Paper.

Bustar Maitar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia forest campaigner, said: “This investigation shows how major international companies like Walmart and KFC are causing Indonesia’s peatland and forests to be slashed and burned for every day paper products. Some of the world’s best known brands are pulping the planet.”

Gardner added that Wal-Mart was “committed to traceability in the timber supply chain” said the retailer “works closely with government, NGO and supplier partners to build a better, more transparent, and more sustainable supply system”.

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