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The announcement comes as several other multi-nationals have recently developed similar forest products purchasing policies that extend to their supply chains. These include Ralph Lauren, H&M, Zara, Stella McCartney, ASOS, Levis Strauss & Co.
Deforestation also represents a financial risk to companies — as much as $906bn total annual turnover could be at stake, according to a recent CDP report.
VF says the new forestry policy aims to avoid issues associated with deforestation and forest degradation including the loss of ancient and endangered forests, loss of biodiversity and habitat, use of forced labor in making forestry products and loss of indigenous peoples and local community rights.
It says the company will use products made with recycled fiber whenever possible. The policy also encourages VF and its suppliers to use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified paper and fiber.
It extends across all VF brands, coalitions and suppliers involved in the procurement, sourcing and manufacture of all products produced for any VF brand. The company says this includes, but is not limited to: fabrics containing man-made cellulosic fibers, hangtags, shoeboxes, hangers, shopping bags, corrugate, tissue paper, store fixtures and solid wood furniture.
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