2016-06-03 EPN and BankTrack
Mandy Haggith | firstname.lastname@example.org | +44 7734235704
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The Environmental Paper Network (EPN), and BankTrack today published Green Paper, Red Lines, a brief document setting out minimum requirements ('red lines') for the pulp and paper industry to avoid harm to people and the environment. EPN and BankTrack urge banks and investors who consider financing pulp and paper companies to use the checklist to assess whether these companies are on the right side of these 'red lines', and steer clear if they are not.
The requirements cover a wide range of regulatory, social, environmental and corporate issues, from land and indigenous peoples' rights to corruption and tax avoidance to technical standards for paper mills and peatland protection. Unless pulp and paper companies fulfil these requirements, unacceptable social and environmental harm is likely to be associated with their pulp and paper mills. Companies that achieve these standards are not automatically deemed to be operating in a sustainable manner. However, if companies cross these red lines they, as well as their financiers, are highly likely to be targeted by civil society campaigns.
Mandy Haggith, co-ordinator of the Environmental Paper Network's pulp finance working group, said, "We want banks and other investors to be our allies in helping to transform the pulp and paper industry towards our Global Paper Vision, by focusing finance only where the industry is sustainable. We hope these red lines will be used by banks and investors to identify projects and companies that should be exempt from finance because of their large negative environmental and social impacts, thus also avoiding severe reputational risk for the banks and investors themselves"
Karen Vermeer, forest campaigner at BankTrack, said: "The Red Lines document is a benchmark for us to assess the robustness of forest related investment policies of private sector banks. Solid and stringent investment criteria will go a long way in avoiding harm associated with pulp and paper projects, which is also in the best business interest of banks".