U.S. Company Leads Trend Toward Ecologically Certified
World's Largest Window Company Acts to Save Chile's
Endangered Forests and Indigenous Communities
14 March, 2003
San Francisco, CA- Andersen Corporation, the world's
leading wood window manufacturer, announced today that it will no longer
buy Chilean wood products unless they are certified by the Forest Stewardship
U.S. environmental organization ForestEthics released Andersen's written
declaration as part of an international campaign to protect Chile's endangered
native forests and indigenous communities. The campaign-supported by Chile's
leading ecology groups-directly links US consumption of wood products to
the destruction of Chile's native forests. The U.S. is the largest purchaser
of Chilean wood, and wood is the third largest sector of the Chilean economy.
"Andersen's decision sends a powerful message
to Chile's government and wood products industry: U.S. companies will no
longer participate in the destruction of Chile's native forests and native
peoples," said Aaron Sanger, Director of the ForestEthics campaign.
"When the leader of an industry changes, competitors follow right
behind. Chile's wood industry must change its practices, and the government
must change its policies, to continue doing business in the U.S."
Andersen was not the first large company to express
its concern about Chilean wood products. Last year, Alexandria Moulding
and Golden State Lumber both made public commitments to phase out of Chilean
radiata pine products unless they were certified by the FSC.
Window manufacturers such as Andersen, and moulding
manufacturers such as Alexandria, are among the leading consumers of Chilean
radiata pine, a type of wood that is produced on tree farms that have taken
the place of native forests in Chile. Based on government data, over the
next 10-15 years more than 2.5 million acres of Chile's native forests
are threatened with destruction to make way for tree farms.
Tree farms in Chile have caused chronic water shortages
and chemical contamination among indigenous communities, where conflicts
between wood products companies and the Mapuche-Chile's largest indigenous
group-have been violent. Last year, a Mapuche youth died of gunshot wounds
inflicted by police during a protest against the Chilean wood products
For more information,
please visit www.forestethics.org.
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