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HC US accused of rainforest abuse

HarperCollins US has said it will look to “address any anomalies in our supply chain” after being accused of using paper from endangered rainforests in its children’s books.

The environmental group Rainforest Action Network (RAN) said independent forensic tests revealed fibre used in HC books came from timber logged in Indonesian rainforests, home to rare species such as the Sumatran tiger.

RAN made similar claims in 2010, prompting several publishers to make commitments not to use paper connected with Indonesian deforestation.

RAN spokesperson Robin Averbeck said: “No child or parent should become an unwitting participant in rainforest destruction this holiday season.”

A spokesperson for HC has said the publisher would like to work with RAN to ensure they only use “environmentally sustainable fibre.” HC said: “We have requested information from RAN including the results of their testing and they have refused to share the information which would help us address their issues. We share the goals of environmentally sustainable fibre use and have a clearly stated policy to support these goals. We have worked with our printers and mills to eliminate the use of Indonesian fibre from books produced for HarperCollins and believe all books manufactured after February 2012 are compliant. We source paper from the same 3rd party-certified manufacturers and vendors as other major publishers.”

The publisher added: “We call on RAN to share its data and findings with us so we can address any anomalies in our supply chain if they exist and we are instituting a testing regime with an independent lab to ensure our that our books are meeting our policy goals.”

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RAN is just telling half the story. To discuss this matter, you have to get into import and export standards; national and international laws for legality and traceability; sustainability policies and certifications; and auditing standards. You can't just say MTH and acacia fibres in paper means tigers are being killed.
One: MTH and acacia fibres will appear in recycled products. Two: Acacia is a plantation wood used worldwide. Three: Acacia plantations are used to reduce the burden on natural forest (so, potentially, something to be celebrated not attacked). Four: It takes about 18 months to get from forest to product, so RAN's tests are totally irrelevant as they relate to paper sourced prior to HC's last sourcing policy. RAN's science is so broken, it's frightening.

RAN is just telling half the story. To discuss this matter, you have to get into import and export standards; national and international laws for legality and traceability; sustainability policies and certifications; and auditing standards. You can't just say MTH and acacia fibres in paper means tigers are being killed.
One: MTH and acacia fibres will appear in recycled products. Two: Acacia is a plantation wood used worldwide. Three: Acacia plantations are used to reduce the burden on natural forest (so, potentially, something to be celebrated not attacked). Four: It takes about 18 months to get from forest to product, so RAN's tests are totally irrelevant as they relate to paper sourced prior to HC's last sourcing policy. RAN's science is so broken, it's frightening.