A Letter To The Logging Company That Is Suing Greenpeace

This is interesting.

It is a letter from Hachette Livre, a major international publisher, to Resolute Forest Products, the group that is trying to sue a number of environmental groups into submission. (See these posts: Taking The Axe To The Environmental Movement: Resolute v. Greenpeace and Freedom of Speech, Resolute Forestry, Stand.Earth, Greenpeace: New Developments) Hachette Livre uses Resolute, and seems to be a significant customer of the tree cutting pulp giant. And, they are giving Resolute a little what for:


Richard Garneau Produits forestiers Résolu

Vanves, June 8h, 2017

Dear Mr Garneau,

My company, Hachette Livre, is a customer of Resolute, and has been for many years. Our US subsidiary, Hachette Book Group, buys substantial quantities of FSC-certified ground wood paper from your Canadian mills.

We enjoy a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship. As you probably know, Hachette Book Group, as its parent company Hachette Livre, has very high environmental standards that both companies advertise in their corporate brochures and web sites. We have a history of working productively with various environmental NGOs such as Rainforest Action Network, for instance.

Greenpeace has recently attracted our attention to the conflict between it and Resolute that has erupted into a significant legal battle.

I have no intention of getting involved in the dispute, for as publishers, we have neither the expertise nor the resources to forge an educated opinion as to who is right and who is wrong in what seems to be a complex set of highly technical issues.

I would simply like to respectfully make two points.

The first is that our commitment to FSC is the cornerstone of our Social and Environmental Responsibility policy.

As such, it cannot suffer exceptions to suit a particular situation or a specific vendor. I therefore urge you to do everything in your power to retain the FSC certifications you have in Canada and more specifically, those that are necessary to meet our environmental requirements. It is of vital importance to us.

The other point I would like to make, not as a customer but as a publisher and a citizen, is that the vigor of your legal response to Greenpeace under RICO statutes strikes me as excessive. It is a very disturbing turn of events for publishers like us, who cherish public debate as an essential dimension of our activity and include many conservationists and environmentalists in our list of authors. Indeed, an escalation of the legal dispute could cause some authors to decline having their books printed on Resolute’s paper, further complicating the situation.

Needless to say, we cherish just as much the rule of law and respect the right to seek legal remedy, but I wonder whether there might not be other ways to respond to Greenpeace’s claims.

Let me put it this way: At a time when the United States has decided to turn its back on climate change by reneging on its commitment to the Paris Accord, we believe we need more than ever independent NGOs such as Greenpeace. Without them, who will speak up for the environment in the future?

I hope these suggestions will give you pause, if not meet with your approval.

This letter will be posted on our company web site after you have received it.

Thank you for your attention, and I hope you are able to resolve this dispute soon.


Arnaud Nourry

I do want to go back to this sentence:

I have no intention of getting involved in the dispute, for as publishers, we have neither the expertise nor the resources to forge an educated opinion as to who is right and who is wrong in what seems to be a complex set of highly technical issues.

That is utter bullshit, embarrassingly stupid, and I have no idea why they would say this. I want to know how much this guy pays for his milk. But otherwise, it is a good letter.


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To be fair, the "dispute" is a legal one and it is probably correct that he doesn't want to form any opinion on the legal merits of the various issues.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 14 Jun 2017 #permalink

To be even more fair, though, a publishing company does not have the expertise to settle an HR dispute, or comply with environmental regulations, or all sorts of other things. But they gotta do all that stuff and they do in fact do all that stuff.

I appreciate that they are going for the environmentally preferred option because they feel like they should, not because they are being forced to. But the same could be said about these other things. Is it true that they have an HR department that minimizes the risk of sexual harassment in the workplace only because that is the law?

Sounds to me like they are worried about losing some business...it's all about the money.

Greedy capitalist pigs!

See, even betty hates the capitalists.

Meanwhile, Wow loves capitalism....in fact, it's the profits he collects from Westmill Solar that keep him going.

Just don't tell anyone...it wouldn't be good for his image.

Like I said, even batshit here hates capitalism.

Oh, and go make me a sammich, woman! LOL!

I'm not sure. Offering an opinion on the technical legal issues would have been out of place and would probably have undermined the tenor of common sense and social responsibility that the letter is attempting to establish, or at the very least distracted from it.

By Craig Thomas (not verified) on 15 Jun 2017 #permalink

Meh. Could be a way to deliver a threat that can't be dismissed. "Why you gotta make me cry Frankie?" as you usher Frankie out to get whacked. I mean, he's totally not willing to have him whacked, he just has to do it because he's forced into it!