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Nov 162011

The following is a message received today from GetUp!

This weekend, tens of thousands of Australians will be off to do a bit of shopping. But what most of us haven’t bargained for is that the new bed, desk or kitchen cabinet we purchase comes from the destruction of our precious native forests.

Happily, David, a fellow GetUp member from your area, will be delivering our petition for forest protection to the Carindale Harvey Norman store this weekend.

Can you help out by making sure that the petition is huge by then, so the Carindale manager sees just how much local support there is for ecologically safe products?

Click here to sign the petition asking Australia’s largest retailer to protect our native forests.

Harvey Norman is the largest retailer in Australia, yet much of their timber comes from native forests that are being unsustainably logged, when they could use sustainable Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) approved timber for only a fraction more.

This isn’t just about Harvey Norman: the whole industry needs to change its ways. But we know that only happens when the big players lead the way – and they only do that if we, their customers, show them we’re watching and waiting to support their move.

Sign the petition telling Harvey Norman you won’t buy timber that drives the destruction of native and old-growth forests, and let’s use our collective voice to kickstart a change for good.

Our movement can change markets. When our friends at research group Markets for Change found that paper being sold at Officeworks contained 84% pure rainforest fibre, Officeworks immediately cancelled all contracts with that paper supplier. Just a few weeks ago, Kmart cancelled contracts with an Indonesian manufacturer of its home brand envelopes when Markets for Change revealed they were made from pulping tropical rainforests. And, Ikea recently changed the nature of timber logging in Sweden when they demanded higher standards of their suppliers – a reform they’re now extending around the world.

These companies had the confidence that good choices would be rewarded by their customers. That’s where we can help.

We rely on the biggest and most profitable companies to drive standards higher. As the largest furniture retailer in Australia, the decisions that Harvey Norman’s management makes about what products to purchase impacts right down the supply chain to the forest floor, and signals to competitors to lift their game as well. Can you tell Harvey Norman you want them to include protecting Aussie forests in their bottom line, starting now?

This is 100% achievable. Research shows there’s no shortage of plantation-grown timber available right here in Australia1, and it would cost only a fraction more to purchase. As a market leader, it’s a change that would be felt right around the country.

They might say it’s not their problem, or it’s too inconvenient – but the question Harvey Norman’s management will soon be asking is, do we stand to lose more customers because we refused to listen? It’s time to use people power for corporate change: sign, then if you’re on Twitter, tweet away. We know that together, we’ll get their attention.

Sign the petition now:

Thanks for being part of this,
The GetUp team.

PS – Wood, when sourced from well-managed and FSC-certified sources, is certainly more sustainable than steel, glass or cement. Harvey Norman can continue to be a profitable business while also selling sustainable products. Sign the petition and we’ll be in touch soon with opportunities to help deliver in your local area.

1 Ajani, J. (Feb 2011) Australia’s Wood and Wood Products Industry – Situation and Outlook – Working Paper, Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University.

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