American Forest Foundation (AFF), International Paper, The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) and 3M Company have banded together to form the Carolinas Working Forest Conservation Collaborative. The joint initiative, which focuses on the Coastal Carolinas Plain, aims to educate and engage family woodland owners in sustainable forestry, forest certification, the enhancement of habitat for at-risk species and the conservation of bottomland hardwood forests.
“There is a misconception that you cannot have both paper products and habitat from the same forest, however we have found that wood and wildlife can go hand-in-hand when family woodland owners are sustainably managing,” said Paul DeLong, VP of Conservation for AFF. “International Paper, P&G and 3M have all shown a great commitment to responsible forestry, making them strong partners in our efforts to increase the number of landowners actively managing their land for wildlife, while providing sustainably produced wood supplies.”
Together, International Paper, P&G and 3M are providing a total of $285,000 over a three-year period to AFF to support their work throughout North and South Carolina implementing sustained and strategic landowner engagement efforts.
“P&G is committed to sourcing 100 percent of our raw paper materials from responsibly managed forests,” said Tonia Elrod, Director of Sustainability and Product Stewardship for P&G Family Care brands. “To help us meet this goal, it is important for us to invest in partnerships with like-minded companies to increase responsible forestry practice and landowner certification while allowing us to still deliver the same superior product experience our consumers expect.”
The Carolinas Working Forests Conservation Collaborative aims to:
- Increase awareness and understanding of the importance of sustainable forestry and active management among 30,000 woodland owners, who collectively own 2.4 million acres of forestland in the Carolina Coastal Plains region.
- Work with at least 450 landowners across 36,500 acres in the project counties to connect them with technical assistance and resources to get them started in forest management.
- Engage at least 160 woodland owners within the project area to enhance, restore or expand bottomland hardwood forests and quality habitat for at-risk species on at least 13,000 acres.
- Certify at least 120 landowners in a recognized forest certification standard.
“At 3M, we drive both business growth and positive societal impact through purposeful partnerships,” said Jean Bennington Sweeney, 3M’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “We depend on committed landowners to provide sustainable, responsibly harvested wood fiber to our suppliers for products and packaging used in our brands like Post-it® Notes, Scotch® Tapes, FiltreteTM Filters, Scotch-Brite® Scrubbers and others. The sustainable practices this project enables will provide lasting benefits to landowners, forests, and our business.”
Families and individuals own more than one-third of the forests across the U.S., which is more than corporations or the government, and 50 percent of the wood supply comes from family owned land.
“Our entire business depends on the sustainability of forests,” said Sophie Beckham, Natural Capital Stewardship Manager for International Paper. “We are thrilled to team up with organizations that share our goals in responsible forest management. Through this collaborative we will continue to promote responsible forest stewardship and ensure healthy and productive forest ecosystems for future generations.”