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June 28, 2007 – In a press release today, Seiko Epson, makes of home printers and printing paper, announced that they will be tracking and ensuring the environmentally sustainable harvesting of forest products used to create their line of photographic and other paper. By 2010, the company hopes to have total procurement conformity to the policy. Epson partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature Japan (part of the global World Wildlife Fund network) to develop their new policy. Using the resulting policy, Epson plans to ensure that the forest products harvesting for their papers meets these top-tier management requirements for sustainability:1.) No ecosystem degradation.2.) Forest productivity is maintained.3.) Forest health is maintained.4.) Biodiversity is maintained.5.) Civil and traditional rights are respected. If these criteria cannot be met, wood procured by Epson must meet a second tier of sustainability, which states that only "wood controlled for social, economic, and environmental harm" can be used. The conditions to ensure conformity with this guideline includes using wood that is not illegally harvested, not from areas where civil and traditional rights are violated or conservation values are threatened, and not from genetically modified trees or forest plantations. Epson hopes to achieve these goals by 2010, ensuring that all Epson brand paper is from sustainable sources. Eventually, the company hopes to expand this policy to other paper materials it produces, such as product packaging and user guides. More information on Epson environmental policies can be read at the company’s website. More information about the World Wide Fund for Nature Japan environmental initiatives can be read on their website.
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