VF Corp., the owner of Timberland, The North Face and other brands, has released its first-ever formal policy to minimize impact on forests. VF's Forest Derived Materials Policy, which was released on Feb. 27, sets guidelines for the group's purchasing preferences and its use of sustainable forest materials and products. The policy is to avoid the issues connected with deforestation and forest degradation, such as the loss of ancient or endangered forests, biodiversity and habitat, the use of forced labor in making forestry products, or the negative consequences on indigenous peoples and local communities. The policy also stresses the importance of using recycled fiber whenever possible. In order to develop the new guidelines, VF has partnered with various NGOs and external stakeholders among which is Canopy, a not-for-profit environmental organization based in Vancouver and Toronto. VF supports the CanopyStyle initiative, which aims to eliminate the use of ancient and endangered forests in the production of forest-derived fabrics, such as rayon and viscose, from the apparel and fashion industries by the end of 2017. Canopy works with more than 750 companies that are among the largest customers of the forest industry, from clothing brands to book publishers and printers. Canopy's brand partners include H&M, Zara/Inditex, Levi Strauss & Co., Stella McCartney, Sprint, Penguin-Random House, TC Transcontinental, The Globe and Mail, and Guardian Media Group.