"The agreement between Rainforest Action Network, Mitsubishi Motor Sales America and Mitsubishi Electric America is a testament to the efficacy of consumer boycotts! In this age of corporate supremacy, this is an unprecedented success in consumer activism. The far reaching programs and the potential of grass roots movements to bring adversaries to the negotiating table will serve as the template for other consumers to stand up for their rights." - Ralph Nader, Consumer Rigths Advocate and 1996 Presidential Candidate
A landmark agreement was announced February 11,1998 in an eight-year consumer boycott against Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America and Mitsubishi Electric America, major U.S. marketers of automobiles and electronic products.
As part of their Memorandum of Understanding, the two Mitsubishi companies announced they are undertaking in conjunction with RAN and other environmental specialists an unprecedented top-to-bottom environmental review of their business activities. In particular, both companies pledged to end use of old-growth forest products and phase out the use of tree-based paper and packaging products by the year 2002, in favor of alternative fibers.
The companies also announced the creation of a "Forest Community Support Program," to provide funding to actively restore and preserve the world's remaining ancient forests and support the indigenous cultures who inhabit them.
Funding for this program will come from the proceeds of U.S. sales of specific Mitsubishi products. In addition, customers of both companies will be given opportunities to make additional voluntary contributions to this fund.
The three parties have also agreed to set up a joint system of "ecological accounting" to track improved environmental performance in manufacturing, distribution and sales. The new accounting system will measure resource productivity, pollution and waste intensity, energy use, product sustainability and overall environmental progress.
For its part, the Rainforest Action Network announced that it has ceased its consumer boycott against the two firms, as well as its persistent campaign of disruptive protest actions at auto industry shows, car dealerships, electronics stores and on college campuses.
Source: Rainforest Action Network