Weyerhaeuser Co. has announced its official preference for purchasing wood that is certified under the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), a program of the American Forest Foundation. More than 89,000 family forest owners managing 27 million acres of forestland are part of the American Tree Farm System.
“Weyerhaeuser's announcement is just what certified tree farmers have been waiting for," said Tom Martin, president and CEO of the American Forest Foundation. "Healthy forests need healthy markets because protecting your trees against insects, disease and catastrophic fire can be expensive. These landowners are hardworking people who want to keep their forests as forests, and keep them in their family."
All the timberlands Weyerhaeuser owns or manages in North America are certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) system. In addition, all the company's manufacturing facilities in North America are certified to the SFI Certified Sourcing Standard.
"Buyers want to know their wood comes from sustainably managed forests," Fulton added. "To give our customers what they want, we need more wood from certified Tree Farms."
The preference for American Tree Farm System-certified wood will be implemented at Weyerhaeuser through a number of measures, including:
• Incentives: The company will maintain a priority market for material from certified Tree Farms, especially when suppliers are put on quotas.
• Procurement decisions: Where a Vendor Management Plan is used (which scores wood suppliers on a number of metrics) Tree Farm certification will be a positive attribute.
• Policies and Tracking: The company will declare support for the American Tree Farm System in its wood procurement policy and it will track its use of wood from certified Tree Farms.
• Support expansion of the American Tree Farm System: The company will offer landowner assistance to encourage Tree Farm certification and the management of forests to American Tree Farm System Standards of Sustainability.
"Most of our customers want certified wood and paper products," said Dan Fulton, president and CEO of Weyerhaeuser. "There is widespread understanding of the value of certification, and encouraging best practices remains by far the most important role for certification.
"Buyers want to know their wood comes from sustainably managed forests," Fulton added. "To give our customers what they want, we need more wood from certified tree farms."
Based in Federal Way, Wash., Weyerhaeuser is one of the world's largest forest products companies, with $6.2 billion in sales last year from continuing operations.