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Rainforest Alliance, Gibson, Domtar and Time Inc. Commit to Clinton Global Initiative

September 26, 2007

The Rainforest Alliance has announced a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to work with three global leaders in the forest products sector -- Domtar, Gibson Musical Instruments, and Time -- on increasing their use of wood from responsibly managed forestlands certified to the standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The three companies have pledged to increase their use of FSC-certified wood products over five years. For its part, the Rainforest Alliance aims to recruit additional forestry operations for FSC certification, certify 170 million additional acres of forestland, increase support for certified small and medium-sized businesses, develop markets for certified products and help ensure that the companies' suppliers meet FSC standards or are working toward FSC certification under an agreed-upon plan.

Tensie Wheland and Bill Reilly "As these three big players in the paper and musical instrument industries are showing, large companies are taking sustainability seriously and considering the long-term environmental, social and economic implications of their sourcing strategies," said Tensie Whelan, executive director of the Rainforest Alliance, who attended the Clinton Global Initiative's Annual Meeting in New York this week. "Buying wood products from FSC-certified forestlands supports forestry operations that manage their land responsibly, conserves biodiversity and curbs deforestation."

Deforestation causes about 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions globally, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Using products from FSC-certified forests can help avoid deforestation and reduce greenhouse gases by giving communities an economic incentive to keep their forests intact and manage them responsibly. If forests are not viable sources of incomes for local communities, residents are more likely to clear the area for other uses such as cattle grazing or agricultural expansion.

The Rainforest Alliance has been working with Gibson, the leading musical instruments company in the US, since 1996, when it became the first musical instrument company to produce guitars using FSC-certified wood. Gibson has pledged to maximize its purchases of FSC-certified wood in the next five years. Last year, 42 percent of the wood purchased by Gibson-USA came from lands that were FSC-certified or were working toward FSC certification. In the next five years, Gibson-USA aims to increase that amount to at least 80 percent.

"We are passionate about our commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative and the Rainforest Alliance, especially through the high standards we set in producing FSC-certified products," said Henry Juszkiewicz, chairman and CEO of Gibson Guitar. "At Gibson Guitar, we take very seriously our commitment to preserving our global environment and strive, through our efforts with the Gibson Foundation, to continue to educate the public on this issue."

The Rainforest Alliance has been working with Montreal-based Domtar, the second largest paper producer in the world, since 2003 on responsible paper production and fiber sourcing. The company has been expanding its FSC-certified paper offerings, from 13 certified product lines in 2005 to 23 lines currently. As part of this commitment, Domtar has pledged to reach out to forest owners in the regions where its new mills are located to encourage and support FSC certification strategies and increase the amount of FSC-certified fiber it purchases.

Forest -- Photo by Mateo Cariño Fraisse"Our commitment to sustainability begins in the forest, and it is bolstered by our employees commitment to make products that meet the needs of our customers. The more certified fiber we procure, the more certified products we bring to the market," said Lewis Fix, Senior Director of Business Development -- Domtar EarthChoice. "We are very pleased and enthusiastic to be a part of this Initiative."

Time, one of the largest publishing companies in the world, has increased the amount of certified fiber it uses in magazine production from 25 percent in 2002 to 70 percent in 2006. Time has achieved most of this increase in the US by encouraging certification on public lands and with small landowners. By 2009, the company aims to have 80 percent of the fiber used in its products certified to systems that meet the standards of Time's Certified Sustainable Forests program, which includes FSC.

"Time is thrilled to be part of this exciting Initiative," said David Refkin, director for sustainable development at Time. "The commitment builds upon our holistic sustainability practices and the work we have done over many years to prompt sustainable forestry by incorporating new issues, such as climate change, into our Certified Sustainable Forests program."

The Clinton Global Initiative is a non-partisan project of the William J. Clinton Foundation that brings together leaders from around the world to work on solving global challenges, including poverty alleviation, global health, and energy and climate change, among others.

The program book for the initiative's 2007 annual meeting was produced by Pictorial Offset Corporation, a New Jersey-based printer certified by the Rainforest Alliance to the FSC standards. The book was printed on FSC-certified Domtar EarthChoice paper, which was donated by Domtar.

About 1,000 members have made commitments to the Clinton Global Initiative to create or support projects. Over the past two years, members have made almost 600 commitments totaling nearly $10 billion.

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