FedEx Paper Practices Again Score Top 'Green Grade'

FedEx Paper Practices Again Score Top 'Green Grade'

FedEx Office, Office Depot and Staples received the highest grades for paper practices in the office supply industry for a second year, according to the latest Green Grade Report Card issued by the environmental groups Dogwood Alliance and ForestEthics.

Also for a second year, the groups gave some of their lowest marks to Walmart/Sam's Club, Costco and

The review, now in its fourth year, looks at practices in seven categories -- including chain of custody, avoiding sourcing from endangered forests and other controversial supplies, recycling and reduction -- and awards an overall grade.

The report card focuses on 12 firms in three categories. Here is how the dozen firms fared this year compared to last:

Office Retail Companies

  • FedEx Office --  A- 2010, A- 2009
  • Office Depot -- B 2010, B 2009
  • Staples -- B 2010, B- 2009
  • Office Max -- C- 2010, C 2009

Wholesales and Distributors

Mass Market Retailers

  • Target -- C 2010, D+ 2009
  • Walmart/SamsClub -- D+ 2010, D+ 2009
  • Costco -- D 2010, F 2009
  • -- F+ 2010, F 2009

FedEx Office and its predecessor FedEx Kinko's, Office Depot and Staples have consistently received strong marks in all four years of the report card with none getting lower than a B -.

This year, "(w)hile the sector saw overall progress on critical sustainability issues such as Endangered Forest protection, several prominent brands continue bad habits that harm the world's forests, air, and water," the Dogwood Alliance said in statement.

In particular, Dogwood Alliance and ForestEthics take issue with sourcing practices that they believe do not ensure that supplies come from non-endangered forests and sustainably grown and harvested woodlands. The groups, for example, have long criticized the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and took slap at the certification label by naming a grading category after the program. Typically, firms that use products bearing the SFI mark receive lower grades.

SFI, however, has mounted a campaign to improve its standards and public opinion of them. The group and its supporters have petitioned the U.S Green Building Council to recognize SFI certification for wood products. Currently the USGBC recognizes only Forest Stewardship Council certification, but is considering a change that would enable recognition of various certifications provided their standards conform with those of the USGBC.

The full Green Grade Report Card is available as a pdf file at

Image CC licensed by Flickr user Håkan Dahlström.