KFC UK Cuts Ties With Unsustainable Paper Suppliers

Kentucky Fried Forests/Screen capture

I reported before on accusations that KFC pushed to exclude activists from a leading sustainability summit, based on their efforts to force a change in the company's packaging policies.

While there's no doubt that the fast food industry in general remains addicted to wasteful packaging options, companies like McDonalds and Starbucks had offered relatively progressive packaging policies that promote recycled content and enforce standards for sustainable forestry in their paper supply. Meanwhile KFC, charged many environmental groups like the Dogwood Alliance, were lagging behind.

There are some tantalizing signs that this is changing, with Business Green reporting that KFC's UK arm is revising its packaging policy and severing ties with companies that have had a poor track record on forest protection:

KFC UK has now said it will only work with suppliers that can "demonstrate sustainable forestry management throughout their supply chain and that are not actively involved in rain forest clearance".

It has also committed to ensuring any virgin material that is used does not contain mixed tropical hardwoods and plans to increase its use of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accredited paper or cardboard with an overall goal of using 100 per cent certified supplies. A KFC UK spokesman told BusinessGreen the new policy rules out future purchases from APP [Asia Pulp & Paper] and said "all our suppliers stopped using APP several months ago".

Could it be that KFC will follow suit in the US? We'll be watching closely to find out.

Disclosure: In my day job at The Change Creation I worked on strategy, writing and brand creation for the Kentucky Fried Forests campaign. I am unashamedly biased on this issue.

Tags: Activism | Conservation | Forestry | United Kingdom | Waste