ForestEthics and Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret) Reach Landmark Agreement on Environmental Stewardship
Dec. 6, 2006 — San Francisco – ForestEthics announced today a major milestone its campaign to transform the catalog industry. Limited Brands, parent company of Victoria’s Secret, revealed a new forest protection policy and a new contract for their catalogs. The policy, unprecedented in its scope, includes several landmark environmental measures and ensures that the pulp for the company’s catalog paper will not come from Endangered Forests. A new paper contract was also signed in accordance with the new policy.
“At ForestEthics, we pride ourselves on running some of the most hard-hitting, aggressive public campaigns out there, but there’s nothing I like better than congratulating a company when they’ve done the right thing,” said Todd Paglia, Executive Director of ForestEthics. “The steps they’ve taken make up one of the strongest environmental policies to result from a corporate campaign, and we applaud them for it. They’ve set a new standard, one that we expect other major catalog companies to meet or exceed.”
“We consider environmental stewardship to be an essential part of our brand, and we’re proud to take a leadership role in the catalog industry, ” said Tom Katzenmeyer, Senior Vice President of Community and Philanthropy.
For more than three years, ForestEthics has been educating the catalog industry about its negative environmental impact on the Canadian Boreal. Two years ago, they launched a campaign against Limited Brands/Victoria’s Secret and shortly after began discussions with the company. Since then, Limited Brands has increased their use of post consumer waste (PCW) recycled content, transitioning its clearance catalogs to sustainable paper with 80 percent PCW recycled content.
New, groundbreaking measures include:
• Limited Brands has partnered with its paper supplier to eliminate all pulp supplied from the Boreal Forest (Alberta’s Rocky Mountain Foothills) and British Columbia (Inland Temperate Rainforest).
• Shifting its catalogs to either 10 percent PCW or at least 10 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) content during 2007.
• A preference for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, the only credible certification for sustainable logging. Limited Brands has partnered with its supplier to shift four of its mills to FSC.
• Overall catalog paper reduction
• A commitment to continual improvement on environmental attributes of catalog paper and paper use. Progress will be audited by an independent third party and made public.
• A commitment to phase out of Endangered Forests
One million dollars committed to research and advocacy to protect Endangered Forests and ensure leadership in the catalog industry
At issue throughout the discussions and campaign has been the impact of Victoria’s Secret’s catalog production on Canada’s Great Boreal Forest, which contains 25 percent of the intact, roadless forest remaining in the world. Stretching from Alaska to Canada’s Atlantic coast, the Boreal is a key regulator of global climate, providing one of our first lines of defense against global warming. It is critical habitat for many species, including endangered caribou and half of North America’s songbirds, and provides $93.2 billion a year in ecosystem services like air and water filtration. Currently, the Boreal is being logged at a rate of two acres per minute, 24 hours a day, and paper production accounts for nearly 50 percent of that logging. Limited Brands new policy prohibits sourcing paper from Endangered Forests in the Boreal, and provides other measures that will decrease impact on the Boreal as a whole. The policy sets a new standard for the catalog industry.
“Limited Brands has come a long way in two years, and we congratulate them for continuing to raise the bar of what environmental stewardship means,” said Dan Howells, Paper Campaign Director for ForestEthics. “And with Limited Brands taking a leadership role, other major catalog companies will need to live up to a higher standard.”
ForestEthics, a nonprofit with staff in Canada, the United States and Chile, recognizes that individual people can be mobilized to create positive environmental change—and so can corporations. Armed with this unique philosophy, ForestEthics has protected more than seven million acres of Endangered Forests. Their “Victoria’s Dirty Secret” campaign featured over 750 protests and events, and over a million unique visitors to VictoriasDirtySecret.net. Visit www.ForestEthics.org for more information.
ABOUT LIMITED BRANDS: Limited Brands, through Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, C.O. Bigelow, Express, Limited Stores, White Barn Candle Co., Henri Bendel and Diva London, presently operates 3,545 specialty stores. Victoria’s Secret products are also available through the catalogue and www.VictoriasSecret.com. Bath & Body Works products are also available through the catalogue and www.BathandBodyWorks.com.