Warner Music Group Announces Industry-Leading Efforts On Ecologically-Superior Packaging And Global Warming
As part of its ongoing environmental initiative with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), WEA Corp., the U.S. sales and distribution company of Warner Music Group Corp. announced that all of its standard CD and DVD products in the U.S. will use ecologically-enhanced paper packaging by the end of March 2007. With this, along with changes inside the company's offices that reduce paper use and promote recycling, the company successfully attains a goal toward which it has been steadily building.
WMG also announced the development of a new company-wide program to reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with global climate change, beginning with a "carbon-neutral" Grammy party.
"Environmentally responsible behavior is good for corporate America: it's smart ecology and smart economics," said John Esposito, president and CEO of WEA. "It lowers the costs of paper procurement and waste. And it strengthens employee morale. Thank you to our partners at the NRDC, as well as Ivy Hill/Cinram, and Stora Enso and to every one of our employees, for their excellence in making business-friendly environmentalism a reality. There is no downside to being friendly to the planet."
In 2006, the NRDC awarded Esposito its "Forces For Nature" award for his work on the WEA environmental responsibility initiative. The Forces For Nature award honors individuals for their remarkable leadership in safeguarding the environment.
Some of the important attributes of the paper to be used by WMG include the use of post-consumer recycled fibers, avoiding the use of virgin fibers harvested from any endangered forest, a commitment not to buy paper manufactured from timber clear-cut off the Cumberland Plateau BioGem, and a prohibition against the use of paper manufactured with pulping caustic that contains mercury, a neurotoxin.
According to NRDC Senior Scientist Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, "By committing to protect the southeastern forests that comprise the Cumberland Plateau BioGem from being cut down to make disposable paper products, and by committing to use post-consumer recycled paper instead, Warner Music and WEA are leading the charge to stop global warming and to preserve the cultural and ecological home of country music, the region that literally gave birth to rock and roll. WEA, in partnership with its printer Ivy Hill, have developed what is arguably the most progressive set of procurement standards of any music company on Earth. We applaud them for doing this and we are proud to be collaborating with them on this important work."
"Ivy Hill is proud to be a partner in this milestone initiative. We commend Warner Music Group as the industry leader in the use of sustainable packaging materials," said Arthur Kern, president of Ivy Hill Corp. "We offer special thanks to the NRDC. Their guidance has brought us closer to our goal of providing the entertainment industry with the most environmentally responsible printing and packaging materials available."
Today's announcements represent the culmination of the first of several phases in the two-year partnership between WEA and the NRDC, a national environmental advocacy organization with more than 1.2 million members and on-line activists.
In the program's first phase, WEA worked with its family of labels to develop CD and DVD packaging, and advertising containing post-consumer recycled content. This packaging met standards developed by the NRDC and Ivy Hill/Cinram International, a worldwide provider of pre-recorded multimedia products and services. Post-consumer recycled paper is made from wastepaper disposed of by consumers.
WMG has also implemented ecologically responsible and efficient paper practices across all of its labels and business units in the United States, including enhanced recycled paper procurement, paper reduction and wastepaper recycling efforts.
Now entering the program's second phase, the company is undertaking a comprehensive review of its greenhouse gas emissions with the goal of developing a program to reduce or offset its "footprint." Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are known to cause global climate change.
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