SFI® Honors National Geographic Society Sustainability Chief Hans Wegner for Lifelong Commitment to the Environment

Sep 18, 2013, 15:00 ET from Sustainable Forestry Initiative

SAN ANTONIO, Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This week, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) recognized Hans Wegner, Chief Sustainability Officer of the National Geographic Society, with the SFI President's Award during its annual conference in San Antonio. Wegner's many contributions – both personally and on behalf of National Geographic Society – have been instrumental in raising awareness of the benefits associated with utilizing forest certification as a proof point for sourcing forest products responsibly and for modeling sustainability principles into daily decisions.

"Hans' commitment to sustainability is matched only by the depth of his knowledge and his passion for raising awareness among others," said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow. "Hans believes that as a publisher, National Geographic Society has a crucial role to play in encouraging responsible forestry practices and helping to build the foundation of a sustainability model for all users of forest products. He is a true leader in the cause of sustainable forestry."

"We, as publishers, are constantly looking for ways to demonstrate that we are sourcing our paper responsibly," said Hans Wegner, Chief Sustainability Officer of the National Geographic Society. "Our commitment to the SFI Forest Partners Program is a tangible way to increase the supply of certified fiber that helps us meet our responsible procurement objectives."

Wegner recommended National Geographic take part in a SFI certification pilot project in Maine that became the foundation for the SFI Forest PartnersSM program. Joining the National Geographic Society, market leaders Time Inc., Macmillan Publishers and Pearson added their support to the SFI Forest Partners program to develop innovative approaches to certification with the goals of increasing the amount of fiber available from certified forestlands through chain-of-custody and fiber sourcing certification by establishing a goal of expanding certified U.S. forestland by 10 million acres by the end of 2017.

Under Wegner's leadership, the National Geographic Society undertook a complete carbon footprint analysis of the operations of its headquarters and implemented a variety of measures to achieve carbon neutral status for its complex.

The National Geographic Society has been inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888. It is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, and the promotion of environmental and historical conservation.

About Sustainable Forestry Initiative
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, more than 240 million acres/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/BuySFI.

SOURCE Sustainable Forestry Initiative