David Refkin is a nice Jewish boy from the Bronx who once dreamed of becoming a statistician for the New York Mets but got his degree in accounting instead. So what was he doing last year, inspecting forests in the wilds of Russia?
As director of sustainability for Time Inc., Refkin was making sure that the paper that goes into the companyâ€™s magazinesâ€”including Fortune, where I workâ€”is produced from timber and pulp in ways that will protect the environment. His efforts are a topic of todayâ€™s CNNMoney.com column. Heâ€™s one of those people in business (and I am meeting more of them, all the time) who is making his company better through his passion and determination.
Ordinarily, I try not to write about Time Inc. or its parent company, Time Warner, but I did so this time for two reasons. First, Time Inc. deserves credit as a leader in sustainability in the magazine industry. Second, I wanted to prod the other magazine publishers to do better.
Hereâ€™s how the column begins
The New Yorker won awards for its stories about climate change and Vanity Fair publishes a “green” issue, but just try to find parent company Conde Nast’s environmental policy. You can’t.
Newsweek ran a cover on “The Greening of America,” but its owner, The Washington Post Co., won’t identify the magazine’s paper suppliers or say where its paper comes from. Maybe The Post’s Bob Woodward should investigate.
As for Hearst, which publishes Oprah’s magazine and Cosmopolitan, the privately held firm is developing an environmental policy to govern its paper buying. But the company won’t provide details.
You can read the rest here.
Meanwhile, Forest Ethics, an NGO that scrutinizes big companies that use lots of paper, says that Office Max lags behind both Staples and Office Depot in its paper-purchasing policies. You can find the Forest Ethics’ case against Office Max here.