Rainforest Alliance audits Sateri's pulp sourcing
Environmental not-for-profits Canopy and the Rainforest Alliance, together with global viscose producer Sateri, have come out with an independent verification audit results of Sateri’s pulp sourcing practices, a process that uses a risk-based approach and requires verifiable evidence to evaluate viscose producers’ progress on their CanopyStyle commitment.
The auditors confirmed the termination of fibre use from two controversial sources. Sateri now purchases a majority of their dissolving pulp from two suppliers that are sourcing from plantations in Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Sateri is one of the first few leading global viscose fibre producers to complete the CanopyStyle Audit. The audit report documented the purchases of pulp from 13 suppliers of dissolving wood pulp, out of a list of 17 possible suppliers, which are listed in the audit report and on Sateri’s website.
The audit emphasises that there is a need for further analysis to determine the risk level of the fibre from Brazil; confirmation of the presence of pulp with raw material from Indonesia and Malaysia, regions known for highly controversial industrial logging operations and major impacts on climate and endangered species habitat; and the risk level of the remaining volume of pulp which cannot, at present, be determined as low risk of coming from ancient and endangered forests and/or controversial sources, due to a current lack of information about the forest of origin of the material from the dissolving pulp suppliers.
“We are encouraged that Sateri promptly terminated two controversial sources and is working to bring further transparency on the forest of origin of their other suppliers,” said Nicole Rycroft, Canopy’s executive director. “Deforestation and forest degradation are key in driving climate change, species decline and undermining of frontline community rights. We look forward to engaging with Sateri to improve their sustainability performance and sourcing impacts, especially in landscapes such as Indonesian and Malaysian tropical forests.”
“The Rainforest Alliance is proud to participate in this important initiative that furthers our mission to conserve biodiversity and help ensure sustainable livelihoods,” stated Richard Donovan, Rainforest Alliance senior forests advisor. “Our role includes serving as the trusted auditor, helping drive the sustainable use of non-timber forest elements in fashion and independently evaluating Sateri’s progress. We conduct site evaluations, analyse and report on the progress required, and deliver audit results that are a snapshot in time, highlighting commitments met and areas for improvements.”
“From day one, Sateri has been open to receiving external stakeholders, including third-party auditors, at our facilities,” said Sharon Chong, vice president, Sustainability at Sateri. “It is in this same spirit of transparency and accountability that we welcome the CanopyStyle Audit assessment as an opportunity to review our pulp sourcing practices. We have learnt much from this audit exercise, and made good progress on areas that needed improvement. We will continue to pro-actively engage with our pulp suppliers to ensure compliance with our sustainability policy.”
The report says that additional work is required to identify the forest origins and better understand the sourcing risk, as some of the suppliers listed may be sourcing from geographic areas that are in proximity to ancient and endangered forests and may lack the certification needed to help track the fibre and ensure avoidance of controversial sources.
Sateri should continue to collect forest of origin information including GPS points, GIS coordinates and/or shapefiles from its dissolving pulp suppliers, which will allow for an overlay with the forthcoming Canopy ForestMapper, a map of ancient and endangered forests, it says.
According to the report, when a low risk rating is not achieved, Sateri will need to take further actions, such as providing additional documentation that verifies compliance with CanopyStyle policy expectations, and/or exclusion of further sourcing from ancient and endangered forests and controversial sources, and/or additional assessment of the dissolving pulp supplier at their corporate office, mills and /or forest harvesting sites;
Ongoing regular audits, and/or random site visits, will be essential to track how Sateri continues to implement their policy and meets the expectations of the CanopyStyle initiative, it says. (SV)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India