Throughout the 1990s, a number of passionate, intelligent, and activist-minded Canadians fought to protect one of British Columbia’s last pristine rainforest valleys, Clayoquot Sound, from industrial logging. Clayoquot is home to giant, old growth cedar trees, and streams where salmon hatch before joining ocean currents.
At the forefront of the battle was Valerie Langer, one of the founders of ForestEthics. She literally put herself out on a limb to stop destructive logging practices, at one point perching herself on a log off the side of a bridge. But it wasn’t enough. Valerie and thousands of impassioned activists made headlines, but were unable slow down the logging.
They already had the drive and the conviction. Now it was time to get creative.
Locking themselves to trees and logging equipment hadn’t changed industries incentives to cut the forest down. So what would persuade them? The group began to realize that the solution lay in the marketplace where the products of this logging were bought and sold. If industry didn't listen to to activists, Valerie and her colleagues reckoned, perhaps their customers might be more persuasive.
Markets-based campaigns were brand new, and in some ways, revolutionary: if the customers of forest products wanted no part of forest destruction, the forest products industry would have to listen. ForestEthics was born out of this idea; it helped to protect Clayoquot Sound. It revolutionized conservation.
Learn more in our origin story>>
When protests against logging companies weren’t working, we went after the companies that were buying from the logging companies—and we won. Over time, our record of campaign victories and strategic partnerships has transformed industries, and helped secure the protection of more than 65 million acres of forest. Some of our proudest achievements include:
With our Markets Solutions department, ForestEthics not only exposes poor environmental business practices; we offer solutions to rise above them. Tapping into our in-house expertise and our extensive external network, Market Solutions provides information, guidance and recognition. Because it’s not enough just to tell companies to change their environmental practices—ForestEthics wants to give them the resources to do so.
One way is by developing and evaluating leading market standards for environmental practices. Since 2007, we’ve been partnering with Dogwood Alliance to publish Green Grades, an annual report card which evaluates Fortune 500 companies’ paper practices.
ForestEthics’ Market Solutions provides resources for companies who want to do better, but who need guidance. For over a decade, ForestEthics has worked with dozens of industry-leading corporations in the US. Together, we’ve forged environmental policies for industry sectors, such as paper production. Our corporate partners have become influential leaders on critical environmental issues.
With your support, ForestEthics is running campaigns to:
Expose Greenwash, like the phony SFI label
Protect communities from pipelines & tankers
|Achieve clean-energy commitments from companies
Diminish the US demand for Canada’s Tar Sands fuel.
The success of our work depends on widespread public action—not to mention a passion for protecting wild, irreplaceable places. Through grassroots support, ForestEthics will continue to protect forests, and build a better way for doing business.