For the first time ever, family forest owners and well-known marketplace brands will connect and discuss their respective needs and challenges related to sustainable forest management. Mars Inc., McDonald’s, Avery Dennison, and Evergreen Packaging are among the participants.
Last week, environmental non-profits American Forest Foundation (AFF) and GreenBlue announced a partnership building on GreenBlue’s Forest Products Working Group efforts, to examine the role of forest certification and explore other frameworks to ensure that family woodlands produce wood sustainably.
“AFF operates our country’s oldest and largest sustainable woodland program, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), showcasing its impressive history of working with family forest owners to ensure their forests provide an incredible range of benefits such as wood, wildlife habitat and clean water,” said Nina Goodrich, Executive Director of GreenBlue. “We are honored to partner with AFF to expand their work and be a part of connecting these two vital audiences in a dynamic value chain.”
Companies that rely on paper, wood and other forest products will begin the dialogue with AFF family forest owner members in November, leading up to a meeting in January.
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“Our goal at Mars, Incorporated is to achieve a fully sustainable supply chain for all the pulp and paper-based packaging materials we use,” said Rachel Goldstein, Global Sustainability Director at Mars. “As demand for sustainably sourced products grows, we’re working with our suppliers to make this happen. We look forward to participating in the Sustainable Forest Management Summit so we can engage with family forest owners and drive meaningful collaboration.”
Growing and changing market needs have put pressure on sustainable wood supplies and family-owned forests, creating further need for the protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat and other forest benefits. The non-profits hope to gather input from the forest products supply chain, from manufacturers to consumers, the forest land owners themselves, and many others to identify priority areas and wood supply needs.
“Brand owners play a key role in the supply chain of wood products, as they are at the forefront of customers,” said Tom Martin, president of AFF. “This partnership with GreenBlue offers the potential to uncover new insights and help us increase our impact on ensuring family-owned forests continue to provide for all Americans.”
Similar discussions took place earlier this month at the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) fifth annual global business event, In Good Company 2015. International companies and non-profits convened to discuss forest certification, forming better connections throughout supply chains, and consumer marketing of sustainable products.