FEDERAL WAY, Wash., Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With the completed acquisition of Longview Timber's approximately 645,000 acres of forestland in Washington state and Oregon in July, Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) now owns or manages approximately 20.5 million acres of forestland in the U.S. and Canada, making the company one of North America's—and the world's—largest private sustainable forestry operations.
"Weyerhaeuser is dedicated to industry leadership in forest stewardship and sustainability, and we will continue that leadership as we bring the recently acquired Longview Timber operations into our portfolio," said Tom Gideon, Weyerhaeuser's executive vice president of Timberlands. "All of Weyerhaeuser's North American forests will continue to be certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® standard, which ensures that our forest management practices meet a broad spectrum of social, economic and environmental requirements."
With more than 240 million acres within its purview, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative is the largest forest certification standard in the world. Certification criteria are established by a diverse group of community organizations, environmental groups, industry, academia and government agencies.
"By successfully achieving independent, third-party certification of its lands to the SFI standard, Weyerhaeuser has demonstrated a strong commitment to responsible forestry and to the communities that depend on a variety of forest benefits," said Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
To become SFI certified, auditors assess compliance in dozens of factors key to responsible, renewable forest management, including demonstrated performance in forest productivity and health, sustainable harvesting, protection of water resources, promotion of biodiversity and fish and wildlife habitat, protection of at-risk species, legal compliance, training, ongoing research and continuous improvement, and more.
"Customers expect accountable forest stewardship, and consumers want to make informed buying decisions," Gideon said. "SFI certification, along with complementary programs such as the American Tree Farm System for family forest owners, provides assurance that Weyerhaeuser wood is sourced responsibly."
These market forces are spurring significant growth in forest certification. For example, the acreage certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative has grown 71 percent since 2007. Despite such growth, however, global forest certification stands at about 10 percent. In contrast, 100 percent of Weyerhaeuser's forests worldwide are certified.
"We achieved 100 percent certification in our North American operations several years ago, and this year we also achieved full certification for our forests in Uruguay," Gideon said. "It's a standard we've set for all of our operations. And while we're proud of our accomplishments, we continue to focus on continuous improvement as one of the world's preeminent sustainability leaders."
About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
SFI Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. Across the United States and Canada, 240 million acres/nearly 100 million hectares are certified to the SFI forest management standard. In addition, the SFI program's unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers' lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally. Learn more at http://www.sfiprogram.org/ and http://sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI.
Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world's largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. We own or control nearly 7 million acres of timberlands, primarily in the U.S., and manage another 14 million acres under long-term licenses in Canada. We manage these timberlands on a sustainable basis in compliance with internationally recognized forestry standards. We are also one of the largest manufacturers of wood and cellulose fibers products, and we develop real estate, primarily as a builder of single-family homes. Our company is a real estate investment trust. In 2012, we generated $7.1 billion in sales and employed approximately 13,200 people who serve customers worldwide. We are listed on the Dow Jones World Sustainability Index. Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WY. Learn more at www.weyerhaeuser.com.
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SOURCE Weyerhaeuser Company