MILWAUKEE, Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Four leaders of the North American publishing industry announced today they will partner with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) to help spur the growth of certification to preserve and protect forests.
Time Inc., the National Geographic Society, Macmillan, and Pearson will become Founding Partners of the SFI Forest Partners Program. The alliance was announced at the SFI annual conference in Milwaukee, attended by foresters, land owners, conservation groups, First Nations, industry and government agencies.
SFI Forest Partners allows market leaders to support certification, as well as landowners and manufacturers facilitate forest certification and the certified sourcing of forest products. Partners will work collectively with the SFI community to make certification more efficient and accessible by providing resources for activities such as shared consulting expertise, group certification or audit coordination.
"A decade ago, Time Inc. was one of the first companies to make a public commitment to use 80% certified fiber. Progress beyond that goal has been hampered by the limited availability of adequate supply," said Guy Gleysteen, Senior Vice President of Production at Time Inc. "SFI Forest Partners lets us have a direct impact on the growth of forest certification and the responsible sourcing of forest products."
By the end of 2014, SFI Forest Partners aims to certify five million acres (two million hectares) of forests to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard. By the end of 2017, the Forest Partners Program hopes to certify 10 million acres (four million hectares) of forest across the United States and Canada. It will also seek to certify more small and medium-sized mills to SFI certified sourcing or chain-of-custody certification.
"We believe strongly that we, as publishers, have a role to play in encouraging responsible forestry practices," said Hans Wegner, Chief Sustainability Officer for the National Geographic Society. "We know that humans are deforesting the globe, particularly in the tropical regions of the world, at a clip of approximately 2 percent a year, a trend that is completely unsustainable. We may well be the last generation with the opportunity to reverse that trend."
"Sustainability is a core mission for Macmillan," said CEO John Sargent. "By committing to the use of certified fiber sourced from well-managed North American forests we are ensuring responsible, environmentally-friendly forestry while also supporting the most efficient global use of recycled fiber. Third-party certification instills confidence that we are making informed choices that keep domestic forests healthy, rural communities strong, and preserves fragile forests in other areas of our world."
"Forest Certification is an increasingly important tool in the ongoing struggle to create a sustainable world. Trees absorb carbon. Well-managed forests help address deforestation, protect and enhance biodiversity, and underpin sustainable livelihoods," said Rich Glicini, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Pearson. "Five years ago we made a commitment to climate neutrality for our directly-controlled operations. Helping to promote responsible forest management practices complements that commitment and continues to be a priority for Pearson companies."
"The SFI Forest Partners Program builds on an innovative pilot project in Maine that resulted in an additional 1.4 million acres/570,000 hectares certified to the SFI 2010-2014 Standard," said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. "The Maine project also resulted in 100,000 acres of forest lands certified to the American Tree Farm Standard. We look forward to building on that initiative with these four founding members of the Forest Partners Program."
About SFI Inc.
SFI Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization, and is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program (www.sfiprogram.org). Across North America, more than 193 million acres/78 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard, making it the largest single standard in the world. SFI chain-of-custody certification tells buyers how much certified, responsibly sourced and/or recycled content is in a product. The SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands.
About Time Inc. (www.timeinc.com)
Time Inc., a division of Time Warner, is one of the largest branded media companies in the world. The company's magazines reach more than 110 million Americans each month, and its websites attract nearly 50 million unique visitors each month. With influential brands such as Time, People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and Real Simple, Time Inc. is home to celebrated events and franchises including the Fortune 500 and Time 100.
About National Geographic Society (www.nationalgeographic.com)
The National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Founded in 1888 to "increase and diffuse geographic knowledge," the Society's mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. It reaches more than 400 million people worldwide each month through its official journal, National Geographic, and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.
About Macmillan (http://us.macmillan.com)
Macmillan is a group of publishing companies in the United States held by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, which is based in Stuttgart, Germany. American publishers include Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt & Company, W.H. Freeman and Worth Publishers, Palgrave Macmillan, Bedford/St. Martin's, Picador, Roaring Brook Press, St. Martin's Press, Tor Books, and Macmillan Higher Education.
About Pearson (www.pearson.com)
Pearson, the World's leading learning company, has global reach and market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing. With more than 30,000 employees based in 60 countries, Pearson focuses on making the reading and learning experience as enjoyable and as beneficial as possible.
SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc.