Business Chips In To Save Trees

Environmental groups often use daring stunts and confrontation to get attention. Now, through quiet negotiation, they may have made the biggest strides yet toward their goal: stopping logging in the world's disappearing old growth forests. CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports.

Tuesday two dozen major American corporations including IBM, Johnson & Johnson, and Bristol Myers will announce agreements with environmental groups to stop using any products made from old growth trees.

"Some of these companies we don't agree with on everything that they do but on this issue, the issue of saving the old growth wood all of them stood up with us and said yes we agree," says Christopher Hatch of the Rainforest Action Network.

The companies say its good business saving trees can mean saving money.

Jeans
maker, Levi Strauss, no longer throws away six million pounds of scrap denim every year. Instead the cotton is recycled into paper most of it tinted blue. Steve Mayette says Levis has cut its paper costs by 23 percent.

"All of our corporate stationary, all of our interoffice envelopes-- everything that we use for corporate is made of 100 percent recycled denim," says Steven Meyette.

The national copy chain Kinko's introduced a new high quality paper in September made from sugar cane.

"It feels like paper it looks like paper it is selling very well," says Larry Rogero of Kinkos.

This paper mill in Massachusetts makes paper from cotton. While most paper mills still use trees, environmental groups say with big companies pledging not use anything from old growth forests change is coming.

"With only 20 percent of the world's old growth forest remaining and with alternatives readily available, it's as barbaric as slaughtering elephants for their ivory to continue to log these ancient forests," says Hatch.

In order to save dolphins environmentalists took their campaign for dolphin-safe tuna to consumers. Now they're doing the same thing for the rain forests. They're trying to stop loggers by stopping buyers.


Reported By John Blackstone
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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