Paper Excellence Group Professionals at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Annual Conference

SPI annual conference

Last week, Quinton Hayward, Chief Forester, (Paper Excellence); Luke Dillinger Sr Director Fibre Procurement (Domtar); Sam Bourque, Forestry and Certification coordinator (Resolute); and Kevin Gallagher, Forest Analyst (Resolute) attended the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year’s conference focused on several critical topics related to sustainable forest management and conservation:

Protection of Endangered Species: The Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy USA highlighted how imperiled species are thriving thanks to sustainable forest management and certified forests, demonstrating that biodiversity can flourish alongside responsible forestry practices.

Mass Timber: Discussions focused on mass timber as a sustainable, low-carbon building product. This innovative material is not only strong, flexible, easy to process/finish and can be used as conjunction with other materials, it is also helping reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry while supporting eco-friendly forestry.

EUDR Compliance: The conference addressed the challenges and opportunities presented by the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR). This is recognized as an industry wide challenge and there was good discussion on the requirements and work that is ongoing in regards to compliance solutions.

Indigenous Relations Collaboration: Emphasized the importance of collaborating with Indigenous groups in the supply chain and how certification and indigenous values are often aligned. Their unique values and perspectives are essential for enhancing sustainable forestry practices and ensuring inclusivity. By having inclusive, collaborative approaches to policy, program and relationship development will lead to real progress on the ground and a positive difference in people’s lives.

SFI is an established leader with a mission to advance sustainability through forest focused collaboration. It is governed by an 18-person board representing three sectors: environmental, social and economic. Their goal is identifying and advancing nature and community grown solutions to conserve, sustainably manage, and restore ecosystems in ways that effectively address societal and environmental challenges to benefit both people and the planet.