Once again, consumers should not have to choose between paper products and the destruction of wild animals, their habitat and the displacement of indigenous peoples. But companies who buy from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) force us to make that choice because they rape the southeast Asian rainforests to produce cheap paper products, leading to such deforestation and habitat loss, not to mention displacement. APP’s activities especially harm the Sumatran tiger, orangutan and pygmy elephant.
Well, I stumbled on some stray Paseo brand products in my local Albertsons store after naively thinking it had promised me in a prior email to stop carrying them because its manufacturer, the evil Oasis Brands, buys directly from Asia Pulp and Paper, the Rapists of the Southeast Asian Rainforests (“You F-ed-up, you trusted us!” comes to mind) . Hell, even the pro-business, anti-environment U.S. Chamber of Commerce is protesting Oasis Brands because their overly-cheap products are flooding U.S. markets. So I wrote the parent company of Albertsons (Supervalu) again in my 1-Man Email Vendetta. Here’s their response:
Thank you for sharing your concern about this issue and please allow me to clarify any confusion. Early last month, SUPERVALU, along with 20 other US grocery retailers and the World Wildlife Fund, announced our decision to stop carrying tissue products made with fiber from Asia Pulp & Paper due to environmental concerns.
SUPERVALU has not changed its position nor has it ordered any new product. However, there may still be some Oasis Brands inventory in our system and at some of our Albertsons stores. Since this product cannot be returned to the manufacturer, the plan is to continue selling whatever product remains until it is depleted. No future products have been or will be ordered until such time that Asia Pulp and Paper changes it sourcing practices.
I hope this response is helpful and thank you for contacting us.
I approached the store manager too. He confirmed they could not buy Oasis brand products any longer. But he did say as an FYI these products fly off the shelves in other more downscale areas because they are so freaking cheap. Obviously those buyers care more about buying cheap than the environment — or they haven’t been educated on the subject (I hope it’s the latter).
So if you see any Oasis brands, save a tiger and an orang — and Boycott all Oasis brand products — and tell the store manager why you’re doing it. A boycott needs to be heard.
UPDATE: looks like the pressure on APP and Oasis is working (though it’ll take a long time to turn this evil battleship)!
Link to sustainable paper guide:
UPDATED: 4/17/2013: A year later, I’m seeing news that Oasis’ presumed evil CEO Philip Rundle has moved on to a company (ironically called “Green Innovations, Ltd.”) that sources its paper pulp from no trees, only sustainable bamboo. Maybe you can change spots on a leopard. So I wrote to his old company, Oasis brands, to see how they’ve changed their “dumping cheap paper made from Asia Pulp & Paper, forest-destroyers” ways since I wrote the above post. Here’s this from a news release, upon hiring Robert Hurley, an environmental policy consultant:
“I am thrilled to be working with a company so determined to expand its commitment to the environment and sustainable development,” Hurley said. “This important effort will not only include changes to Oasis Brands’ operations, but we will be working to bring about sustainable development practices with Oasis Brands’ suppliers and reach out to other stakeholders as well.”
Hurley’s counsel, combined with Oasis Brands’ leadership, will demonstrate the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility throughout all operating levels by:
- The immediate procurement of base paper made from FSC-certified pulp for conversion into Oasis Brands’ branded retail tissue products, with other product lines making the transition in due course
- Implementation of FSC Chain of Custody procedures at Oasis Brands and the converting operations
- Adoption of a company-wide sustainable development program, which will verify Oasis Brands’ commitment to sustainable business practices beyond its base paper procurement policies
- Continuous evaluation, measurement and transparent reporting of the implementation of these sustainable business practices
Oasis Tissue NOT Oasis Brands. BTW, while researching this piece, I stumbled on another Oasis paper brand — oasistissue.com — this one out of Portland, OR, apparently. When I asked the Owner (according to Linkedin) via email whether he’d like to inform concerned consumers whether they source their paper sustainably or not, he didn’t even respond. Just a snide, “Who are you?” If they were a green company I don’t know why one wouldn’t make that part of your marketing strategy. So put that in your consumer-purchasing decision-making process next time, if you stumble onto them as I did.
UPDATED: 7/1/2013: Prompted by a reader’s question below, I looked a little more into Oasis Brands and how they operate these days. Although their website talks about such promising and uplifting philosophies as changing “overly entrenched thinking” for a company whose business model was predicated on buying cheap pulp and fiber from that corporation-from-hell, Asia Pulp and Paper (caught red-handed cutting down high conservation rainforests, and habitat for critically endangered species for its wood products), and selling it at predatory, bargain-basement prices in the U.S., I think this company just might be out-of-business now. I wrote two emails today through the “Contact Us” function on their website and both were returned with a quick, “The email account that you tried to reach does not exist” within a mere few seconds. Second, I tried calling their sales number to get information on their apparently new “transparent approach to environmental sustainability” policy, but the phone literally hangs up as you’re waiting for it to ring, like it’s out-of-order.
Maybe the market spoke — driving this once-proud and defiant anti-environment company out-of-business.
Anybody else have any info?