At the end of the day, success is about teamwork and strong partners.
SFI recognized both at day two of our annual conference in Milwaukee, The Future is Decided Now, being attended by more than 200 foresters, manufacturers, customers, business people, First Nations, conservationists and government agencies.
This day had a number of noteworthy moments. One I would particularly like to share with you is the announcement that Time Inc., The National Geographic Society, Macmillan and Pearson will be founding members of SFI’s Forest Partners Program aimed at spurring the growth of forest certification and responsible sourcing.
By the end of 2014, SFI Forest Partners aims to certify five million acres/two million hectares of forests to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard. By the end of 2017, the Forest Partners Program hopes to certify 10 million acres/4 million hectares of forest across the United States and Canada. It will also seek to certify more small and medium-sized mills to SFI certified sourcing or chain-of-custody certification.
The future of the world’s forests depends on the actions we take today. These four market leaders – Time Inc., The National Geographic Society, Macmillan and Pearson – are among those who recognize their choice of wood, paper and packaging products directly impacts forests and communities at home and around the world, today and into the future.
SFI’s Forest Partners Program gives market leaders the opportunity to state their support for certification while supporting landowners and manufacturers in moving toward forest certification and certified sourcing of forest products. Time Inc., The National Geographic Society, Macmillan and Pearson, for example, will collaborate with the SFI community to make certification more efficient and accessible. This could take the form of providing resources for activities such as shared consulting expertise, group certification or audit coordination.
SFI’s Forest Partners Program builds on an innovative pilot project in Maine that resulted in 1.4 million acres/570,000 hectares certified to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard. The Maine project also resulted in 100,000 acres of forest lands certified to the American Tree Farm Standard. All of us at SFI look forward to working with our Founding Partners and others who value healthy forests for today and future generations.