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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Sept / Oct 2003 : Special Section : Sustainable Forestry Leadership

Special Section

Sustainable Forestry Leadership

The Red Hills salamander is choosy about its neighborhood. It burrows into very soft rock formations found in south central Alabama—the only place in the world this amphibian
calls home. The threatened, rare species is protected by a multi-national organization dedicated to conserving the forest for its rare inhabitants. And it’s not an environmental organization, nor is it the U.S. government, which is required by law to protect endangered species.

The salamander’s benefactor is International Paper, a leader in the paper and forest products industry and one of the largest private landowners in the world. The company created a Habitat Conservation Plan for the salamander more than a decade ago as the first forest landowner to establish a plan in the southeast. The HCP for the salamander is also included in IP’s Special Places in the Forest™ program, which protects more than 600 company forest sites of ecological, biological, cultural or historical significance on some 65,000 acres.

But that’s just a small example of International Paper’s efforts to keep the planet green. The company was recently presented a Conservation Award from the U.S. Department of the Interior for innovative conservation efforts with threatened and endangered species. The award is the highest honor the DOI can bestow on private organizations, recognizing contributions toward the cause of conservation.

“Our future depends on the forest and, indeed, sustaining our forests sustains our future,” said Dr. Sharon G. Haines, IP’s director of sustainable forestry and forest policy. “From planting tree seedlings to harvesting to growing more trees, we work diligently to balance the production of paper, packaging and wood products to meet the needs of society with the need to keep our forests across the globe healthy and abundant today and for future generations.”

Hundreds of IP professional foresters and ecologists devote much of their time to implementing the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Standard, a strict and comprehensive set of environmental principles for forest management.

Reforestation is a major component of International Paper’s SFI program; IP plants nearly 150 million new, native pine and hardwood seedlings each year on its own land, and the
company has reforested more than six million acres in the U.S. alone. The SFI Standard also sets guidelines for protecting wildlife, plants, soil, air and water.

All nine million acres of its U.S. forestlands are third-party SFI and ISO 14001 certified. The company is also third-party certified to all nationally appropriate forestry standards on most of its 10 million acres of forestland abroad.

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Sustainable Growth: A Central Focus

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