WASHINGTON – Multinational companies including the Procter & Gamble Company and Kimberly-Clark Corporation have written to Canada’s top federal and provincial leaders, urging them to “act swiftly to protect the boreal Woodland Caribou,” an iconic Canadian species whose survival is threatened by industrial activity that includes logging. Provincial and territorial governments failed to meet an October 5 deadline to submit caribou protection plans.
Citing their commitment to sustainable sourcing for pulp, paper, and other forest products, the companies highlighted their concern that the boreal forest, its species, and hundreds of Indigenous communities, that depend on them are threatened by unsustainable logging practices.
The companies that signed letters to the governments have a collective market cap value of nearly $600 billion. They include: Procter & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark, H&M, Amy’s Kitchen, Ben & Jerry’s, Greystone Books, Rose International, and Liturgy Training Publications.
“If Canada does not protect boreal caribou, it could lose an iconic species and tarnish its international reputation at once. Leading companies that purchase Canadian forest products want the federal and provincial governments to take immediate action to do what’s necessary to save the species,” said Shelley Vinyard, Boreal Corporate Campaign Manager for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “We hope the governments heed calls of the marketplace for action.”
Now that the provinces have missed the October 5 deadline to submit caribou protection plans, the federal government must now work with provinces to establish interim protections and create habitat protection plans.
The boreal caribou was listed as threatened nearly 15 years ago under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Government analyses estimate that only 14 of Canada’s 51 boreal caribou herds are self-sustaining. Furthermore, studies from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada indicate that, if current trends continue, 30% of boreal caribou could disappear in the next 15 years.
The United States is the destination for the majority of boreal forest exports. More than 80% of wood exports from Quebec and Ontario go directly to the U.S., which means that U.S. purchasers have a critical voice in Canadian boreal caribou protection.
“NRDC echoes the call to ensure boreal caribou and its habitat are immediately protected, a position well-articulated by companies that buy boreal forest products. The future of the boreal caribou depends on it,” said Vinyard.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.