The Conservation Fund today announced that it has partnered with Apple to acquire over 36,000 acres of working forest in Maine and North Carolina, a move that will ensure both the continued health of the forests and Apple's paper supplies.
“Apple is clearly leading by example—one that we hope others will follow,” said Larry Selzer, president and CEO of The Conservation Fund. “By all accounts, the loss of America’s working forests is one of our nation’s greatest environmental challenges. The initiative announced today is precedent-setting.”
The forests that Apple and The Conservation Fund are protecting are larger than the land area of the City of San Francisco. Through its commitment, Apple can ensure a steady supply of sustainably harvested timber to paper and pulp mills.
Apple vice president for environmental initiatives Lisa Jackson tells BuzzFeed that the move is the company's latest effort to ensure the sustainability of its supply chain.
“Imagine if every time you opened a package from a company you knew that it came from a working forest. And imagine if companies took seriously their paper chain and made sure that was renewable, just like energy. And imagine if they didn’t just buy renewable paper, but took the step of ensuring that they would stay working forests forever.”
Apple has worked very hard over the years to exert as much control as it can over its supply chain in order to create a competitive advantage and ensure consistent supplies and pricing. With more recent forays into renewable energy production and now even paper, Apple is proving able to both secure its supply chain and demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility.
Update 7:56 AM: Jackson and Selzer have written a blog post on Medium addressing the partnership.
This partnership is mutually beneficial. Apple is quantifying the virgin paper footprint from its packaging. Apple is committed to zeroing out that impact by using paper more efficiently, increasing recycled paper content, sourcing paper sustainably, and conserving acreage of working forests around the world equivalent to its virgin paper footprint. The Conservation Fund is committed to identifying and conserving those acres in the U.S. Through conservation easements, they will ensure these lands remain forests in the future. This helps preserve the supply of raw materials for paper while providing permanent environmental protection and fighting climate change.