Last week, I had the privilege of speaking at the Sustainable Packaging Forum in Phoenix, AZ. I spoke to the “Power of Partnerships,” which has been an important theme for SFI throughout 2010.
Our partnerships with groups from Habitat for Humanity to Time Inc to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation have allowed us to get involved in so many projects we’re proud of. Partnerships are what breathe life into our program and drive the importance of what we do home for many people. When companies get involved with SFI, it means we’re able to continue work to make on-the-ground differences with logger training, conservation and community outreach. Additionally, it gives us a way to keep forests as forests, avoiding loss to conversion and development. To keep involvement with these programs, there must be a continuous demand for forest certification.
The packaging industry plays a large role in us being able to keep many of our partnerships running. Without their support, in addition to all the other users of certified forest products, not only would our forests suffer, but so would many of the programs we’re able to fund as a part of our program.
While forestry and the packaging industry have each made huge strides over the past two decades, there’s still a lot of work to be done. With only 10 percent of the world’s forests certified, the focus will always be on promoting responsible forestry on all lands – certified or uncertified. Additionally, we need more action to inform consumers and customers about forest certification and how it works in partnership with recycling. Recycling is important, but it, nor forest certification, can stand alone.
I had a great time talking with fellow speakers and attendees of the forum. With continued dialogue and continuous improvements, I can’t wait to see the leaps both sectors will make over the next 20 years.
For more coverage from the Sustainable Packaging Forum, check out this interview with Justmeans: