An ongoing campaign is getting companies to avoid or reduce their use of fuel from the Alberta tar sands.
Joined by Natural Resources Defense Council and Sierra Club, San Francisco-based ForestEthics is calling on American brands and companies to commit to choosing cleaner forms of energy for transportation. From The Gap to Walgreens, ForestEthics has so far assisted 16 large companies and one U.S. city—Bellingham, Washington, one of two U.S. gateway cities for the tar sands—in choosing fossil fuel alternatives for their transportation services and fuel.
“This widening trend of leading American brands against Canada’s tar sands is good news for everyone who wants cleaner air and water, healthier communities and forests—and clean energy,” said Aaron Sanger of ForestEthics. “It is bad news for those who want to expand the U.S. market for tar sands.”
Commitments from each company vary, from requiring its transportation providers to eliminate fuels from tar sands refineries, to avoiding high impact fuels, such as tar sands-derived types, where possible. To make the transition easier for companies, ForestEthics has identified U.S. refineries that make or use synthetic oil from tar sands to make trucking fuel.
Some of the 16 committed companies have endured backlash, namely banana brand Chiquita. After Chiquita told ForestEthics in November 2011 that it would work with the environmental organization “to identify any connections between Chiquita’s fuel providers and tar sands refineries towards the goal of eliminating fuel from these providers that is connected with tar sands refineries,” the energy lobby organization Alberta Enterprise Group called for Canadians to boycott Chiquita. One month later, Chiquita confirmed its commitment to "a strategy of continuous improvement towards the elimination of (tar sands) fuels."
ForestEthics has provided a full list of the companies who have taken action to reduce their use of fossil-fueled transportation.