Conservation Group Hangs 40-foot Post-It Note from Minneapolis’ Washington Avenue Bridge Denouncing 3M’s Environmental Practices

ForestEthics, known for transforming the environmental practices of more than 100 major US corporations, highlights major risks associated with local company’s environmental practices; 3M linked to destruction of endangered forests worldwide
Monday Oct 7, 2013

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lauren Stansbury, 402-540-1208, lauren@mintwood.com; Ryan Fletcher, 202-641-0277, ryan@mintwood.com

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3M banner by ForestEthicsMINNEAPOLIS, MN—ForestEthics, an environmental group with a proven track record of helping to transform the environmental practices of more than 100 companies including Walgreens, Staples, Home Depot and many others, deployed a 1,600 square foot Post-It Note banner this morning off the Washington Avenue Bridge asking 3M to ‘do the right thing’ when it comes to the company’s environmental impact.

“3M’s outdated and destructive environmental practices stand in stark contrast to the green image they market to consumers. 90% of Post-It Note products contain no recycled content, the company promotes the logging industry’s phony SFI eco-label, and 3M is linked to endangered forest destruction around the world,” said Jim Ace of ForestEthics. “3M’s environmental practices are out of touch with the demands of today’s customers.”

“3M’s commitment to innovation should make the company particularly ashamed to being doing something as outdated as making disposable products from old-growth and endangered forests,” said ForestEthics’ Executive Director, Todd Paglia. “Great companies evolve, and we believe 3M can go from loser to leader on the environment—when the company decides to.”

Examples of 3M’s destructive environmental practices include:

  • 90% of Post-It products have no recycled content: of Post-It’s 693 products, 33 have some recycled content and 31 are marketed as “greener” products.  
  • 3M’s products wreck caribou habitat in parts of Canada’s Boreal forest, like tree fiber sourced for Domtar Mill in Dryden, Ontario. Our research also 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.
  • 3M promotes the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), a forest certification program and marketing scheme that is funded and governed by some of the biggest names in the timber industry. SFI’s practices include:
    • Clear-cuts averaging the size of 90 football fields/116 soccer fields, resulting in erosion, flooding, degraded water quality, and landslides.
    • Spraying of toxic chemicals that poison communities, workers, wildlife, and insects, and contaminate fresh water.
    • The destruction of endangered and old growth forests, as well as fish and wildlife habitat
    • Minimal consultation of local communities and indigenous people

Today’s banner was deployed by two ForestEthics volunteers from the Minneapolis/St Paul area.

“3M’s to-do list is clear: the company needs to start using recycled paper, stop promoting phony and misleading eco-labels, and clean up its environmental act,” said climber Sen Holiday.

“To me, it’s symbolic that we’ve chosen the Mississippi river as the site for this action—3M has been responsible for so much pollution of the river that the state of Minnesota sued them in 2010.” said climber Carrie Feldman. “Minnesota is my home, and I see it as my responsibility to hold companies like 3M accountable for the environmental damage they cause.”

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