Dublin, Ireland -- As the American arch rivals Notre Dame and Navy battled it out at the Emerald Isle Classic, I ran out on the pitch wearing a T-shirt with "KFC - STOP Deforestation" and scored a touchdown before being escorted away by security at the packed out Aviva stadium.
While I apologize to both teams and their fans for the brief interruption, I please ask that they consider deforestation as an extremely serious issue that demands much needed action.
Today marks the official launch of my "KFC - STOP Deforestation" campaign, where I will be reading the following open letter to its CEO, Mr. David Novak, outside 100 KFC locations worldwide:
Dear Mr. David Novak, CEO, Yum Brands, parent company of KFC:
According to Greenpeace, you're using rainforest material in your fast food packaging. Since rainforests are essential to our planet's long-term health, your company is accelerating deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, animal extinction and the displacement of indigenous people.
We know it's not you directly, but your supplier Asia Pulp & Paper, a company with a very poor environmental track record and one that Lego, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble, Adidas, Mattel and Unilever, to name a few, have boycotted.
So far your company has refused to meet or even respond to repeated requests from Greenpeace, WWF, and the Dogwood Alliance, to sit down and lay the framework for a sustainable business model.
As leader of the world's largest fast food chain, you have a HUGE responsibility to ensure your business is not harming this planet's delicate ecosystem and to use your brand as a force for good.
So as a CEO with a reputation for outstanding corporate leadership, I PLEASE ask you to demonstrate a commitment to our environment by:
• refusing to trade with Asia Pulp & Paper until it commits to suspend its "clear cutting" activities.
• like your competitor McDonalds, agreeing to meet with an environmental NGO that will help you work toward a zero-deforestation strategy across your entire supply chain and help you to protect this planet we all call home for our children and their children's children.
So, people of Dublin and those watching via the Internet, whether you're a KFC customer or not, please join me by signing our petition at www.KFCSTOPDeforestation.org or tweet the hashtags #JungleBird and #KFCSTOPDeforestation.