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FedEx Office Earns Top Grade for Paper Policy, and Costco Fail

The latest Green Grades report card on paper policies gives FedEx Office and Office Depot high marks for avoiding paper from endangered and controversial sources while, Costco and others gets F's.

The Green Grades report, now in its third year, is compiled by ForestEthics and the Dogwood Alliance, and is based on surveys sent to companies and separate research.

The report gives companies high marks if they avoid paper sourced from endangered forests, caribou habitat in the Canadian Boreal Forest, tree plantations in the southern U.S. and companies with negative track records like International Paper and Asia Pulp & Paper.

The groups also give companies low marks if they use Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified sources. Although the SFI is one of several sustainable forestry certification programs in existence and has been endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, some do not see it as a positive program because it was founded by forest and paper industry companies and its standards differ from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The Green Grades report shows more of the companies surveyed rely on or are moving toward FSC sources.

Office retail companies received the highest overall marks. FedEx Office got an A-, Office Depot got a B, Staples got a B-, and OfficeMax received a C.

Each score is based on individual scores based on policies for chain of custody, endangered forests, plantations and controversial sources, responsible forestry and FSC certification, recycling and reduction and other leadership.

FedEx Office hits all the main points, even stocking FSC paper in most of its copy centers, but the report calls out its overall paper policy for not being detailed enough.

Wholesale companies and distributors received a mix of middle and low grades, with Unisource getting a C+, United Stationers receiving a C and Paperlinx/Spicers and Xpedx each getting an F.

But the general retail companies received the lowest overall grades. Target and Walmart/Sam's Club took D+'s, and and Costco got F's.

The companies with the lowest grades mostly either ignored the questionnaire sent out for the report or did not provide substantial information, but research showed they also lack decent paper policies or rely too heavily on paper from endangered or controversial sources.

Logs - CC license by Claire L. Evans

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