A young caribou in Canada

Some of 3M’s products wreck caribou habitat in parts of Canada’s Boreal forest, like tree fiber sourced for Domtar Mill in Dryden, Ontario. Photo credit: Flickr/Larry Myhre

3M Must Stop Destroying Forests - and Drop the Phony SFI Eco-Label It Promotes

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Whether we like it or not, 3M products are everywhere–from Post-it Notes to Scotch Tape to Scotch-Brite scrubbies. As you might have guessed, 3M uses wood fiber to make thousands of its 55,000 products, including Post-It notes. Despite all the forests that are destroyed as a result, some of those products are still certified as “good for forests” by the Sustainable Forestry Industry (SFI). At a time when forests are crucial to protecting our climate, we can’t ignore how 3M harms forests.

We gave 3M many opportunities, over many years, to collaborate with ForestEthics and clean up its act. We sent letters. We sent emails. We had dozens of phone conversations. We even visited its corporate headquarters in Minnesota. Each time, we encouraged 3M to drop its association with the timber industry’s greenwashed eco-label, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). In the end, 3M decided to stand by SFI and continue to greenwash products with that label, like its Post-It notes.

Now, ForestEthics and its supporters will publicly ask 3M to drop the SFI greenwash label and stop destroying old growth forests around the world.
3M likes to brand itself as a responsible company. Our research shows otherwise. Here are two examples of 3M’s role in forest destruction:

  1. 3M’s products wreck caribou habitat in parts of Canada’s Boreal forest, like fiber sourced for Domtar Mill in Dryden, Ontario. The elusive, majestic caribou is a threatened species that can’t afford to lose its habitat.
  2. Our research connects 3M products to endangered, illegally logged, and old growth forests throughout Europe and South America, including Sweden, Finland, the Baltic states, Russia, Brazil, and Uruguay.


All this, and 3M is masquerading around as a “green company” by using the controversial Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) label on its products and in 3M’s marketing materials. Here are just a few logging practices that the SFI certification program approves. By slapping the SFI label on some of its products, 3M is approving of these practices, too:

  • Widespread logging of irreplaceable old growth forests and other endangered forests
  • Clearcuts averaging the size of 90 football fields
  • Spraying toxic chemicals that poison children and families, workers and wildlife, and pollute fresh water
  • Destroying important fish and wildlife habitat
  • Planting genetically modified trees


For 3M to have forest destruction in its supply chain and to slap a phony eco-label on its products is deceptive and unacceptable. Our “To Do” for 3M? Change from a forest destroyer to a forest-friendly brand. That means eliminating the phony SFI eco-label from its Post-It notes.

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Learn more about Greenwash

The Issue

The truth behind the phony SFI label

The Facts

SFI: Poster child of greenwash eco-labels

The Solutions

Reveal the phoniness of SFI label