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Forests in Focus — Tool Cuts Risks to Sustainable Supply Chains

November 5, 2019

Most assume that consumers want to buy more sustainable products and data does in fact support this .

A survey from Nielsen shows that environmental concerns influence purchase.

  • 81% feel strongly that companies should help improve the environment
  • 73% would “definitely” change consumption habits to reduce environmental impact
  • 46% would skip a brand they know to buy a more environmentally friendly product

Brands are smart to source sustainable materials across the supply chain. It’s good for their bottom line, and for the planet. And marketers can confidently assure consumers that the company shares their values.

Sustainable wood fiber is at a premium because of increased demand. But not all eco-friendly forestry operations are formally certified.

Almost 40% of America’s woodlands are family-owned, and supply half of the wood fiber flowing into U.S. supply chains. Only 10% of the acreage is certified as sustainable.

Family forest owners are passionate about the environment. They might already practice sustainability, doing everything to meet criteria for certification — but not all smaller operations go through the process.

Why sustainable forests aren’t certified

Forest managers invest heavily in sustainability. Training, infrastructure, logistics, equipment and other day-to-day business costs increase with greater attention to the environment.

The certification process then involves assessors, auditors, consultants and more considerations.

It’s easier for corporations, governments and other large forest owners to navigate the path to certification. Families don’t always spend the needed time or resources.

Now there’s a way to analyze and recognize sustainable practices that complements the certification process.

The new way to know it’s sustainable

Sustainable forest owners comply with laws, plan and monitor operations, maintain safe working conditions, and foster good relationships with those living around their forest properties.

The American Forest Foundation collects this landscape-level data on U.S. forests, including family-owned properties. The new Forests in Focus initiative uses that information to verify whether individual forestry practices make the grade.

It’s not certification — but it is a reliable way for businesses to know they’re sourcing sustainable materials, and to track it for reporting.

Criteria go beyond replenishing a forest’s wood supply. Stewards protect woodlands from natural threats like insects, diseases, wildfires and extreme weather. They make habitable homes for wildlife, create rural jobs, maintain clean water and promote absorption of carbon emissions.

Forests in Focus members have a dashboard that pinpoints sustainable family forests to connect with for wood fiber. It assesses risk to supply chains and identifies opportunities to drive a real, positive impact on the ground.

A simple plan for a sustainable future

Not all family forests are sustainable. Forests in Focus analyzes critical data to grow the pipeline for responsibly sourced raw materials.

Quad is the only commercial printer of its size with access to Forests in Focus. It’s the newest addition to the company’s comprehensive, scalable suite of sustainability services.

Brands get all the benefits of sustainable wood fiber, and marketers have confidence that they offer the eco-friendly products their consumers prefer.

Forestry is about more than meeting current needs — each of us has to consider future generations and their lives on Earth. Sustainable practices improve the long-term outlook.

Forests in Focus Infographic

Download the Forests in Focus infographic to learn about the tool, and Quad’s full suite of sustainability services.