Forest Products Working Group

This working group develops innovative solutions that supports a sustainable forest products industry.

The Forest Products Working Group brings together leading companies that rely on paper, wood, and other forest products to share their knowledge and develop innovative solutions to support thriving forests and the forest products industry.

The Forest Products Working Group works on a variety of projects to develop resources and conduct research on best practices and technological innovations.

Leveraging supply-chain collaboration among thought leaders to:

  • Explore new and innovative models to gain assurance of sustainable forest management
  • Promote constructive and transparent dialogue across the forest products supply chain to address shared sustainability challenges and opportunities
  • Develop tools and resources to evaluate environmental performance of paper and packaging products

Forests in Focus Landscape Assessment Tool

Created in partnership with the American Forest Foundation, Forest in Focus (FiF) is an innovative new platform to identify risk in forest product supply chains and provide opportunities for achieving positive conservation impacts through the engagement of family forest owners. Currently under development,  Forests in Focus is a powerful data tool that gives users the business intelligence to help define, measure, and communicate their commitment to sustainable forest management to consumers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.

FiF leverages the power of data visualization and aggregation to give brand owners a new level of transparency in their supply chains. With FiF, brand owners and other stakeholders will have the ability to engage with a portion of the forest products supply chain that is responsible for over 50% of fiber in the U.S. marketplace that has been largely left out of sustainability discussions – family forest owners.

A key challenge in meeting ambitious certified fiber goals is that adoption of forest certification has been limited among family forest owners. In the U.S., which has one of  the highest rates of certified forest area globally, only 22% of forests are certified. For family-owned woodlands, which comprise nearly 40% of forests in the US, the rate is approximately 10%. All the while, family woodlands supply over 50% of the fiber flowing into supply chains.

This platform will employ aggregation and analysis of publicly available data to assess sustainability at the landscape level.  Forest certification, for example, verifies the use of specific practices at the parcel level, whereas FiF is designed to assess how practices encapsulate forest sustainability across an entire landscape. The FiF approach makes it possible to evaluate and assess risk when sourcing from forests owned by the roughly 22 million family landowners in the U.S.. Because the majority of lands are not evaluated at the parcel scale via certification, family woodland owners are often excluded, unfairly, from supply chains that require only certified fiber.

Additionally, and most importantly, the FPWG and AFF recognized that for any effort be truly successful it must operate on the guiding principle to “bring together the forest products supply chain and its stakeholders to collaborate on positive conservation impacts”.  Unlike other approaches that simply assess risk, FiF will actively and transparently identify risk and associated patterns to reveal opportunities to drive real, positive impact on the ground.

Interested in learning more about Forests in Focus? Email Tom.pollock@greenblue.org to learn more.