On May 12, 2011, 35 people representing several of the nation’s top companies, including publishing giants Hearst, McMillan, Scholastic and Hachette, along with financial mega-companies Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase, gathered for a Carbon Canopy Corporate Roundtable in New York City. The result? More potential members for this groundbreaking concept in fighting climate change.
“Our goal was to get representatives from the publishing and banking sectors there to learn about the work of the Carbon Canopy, and they turned out in considerable numbers,” says Andrew Goldberg, Dogwood Alliance’s Director of Corporate Engagement. The event was hosted by Citigroup at their headquarters in lower Manhattan.
“We talked about the opportunity created by Carbon Canopy to invest in the protection of forest carbon sinks in the South as a strategy to achieve their goals for corporate social responsibility in a way that truly makes a difference on the ground for our forests and subsequently for our climate as a whole,” Andrew says. “Our hope in convening these roundtables is to drive major corporate investment in forest conservation in the South.”
In addition to finance and publishing companies, the Roundtable also welcomed attendees from newsprint company AbitibiBowater, office products and paper distributor Unisource, and the nonprofit groups Open Space Institute and Forest Stewardship Council, among others.
In another exciting first, the president of the National Woodland Owners Association (NWOA), Keith Argow, attended and spoke at the Roundtable about the need to find new ways to help woodland owners conserve their land. NWOA recently joined the Carbon Canopy and Argow has begun developing a Carbon Canopy project on his own property. There will be an article about the Carbon Canopy coming up soon in the National Woodland Owners Association magazine that is distributed to more than 30,000 forest landowners.
Many of Dogwood’s corporate and nonprofit partners spoke to the group. Mark Buckley, VP of Environmental Affairs at Staples, explained why the Carbon Canopy is a win-win for corporations, forest landowners and environmental groups. Paula Swedeen, Ph.D., Director of Ecosystem Service Programs at Pacific Forest Trust explained how the Carbon Canopy’s rigorous carbon accounting and forest management standards lead to high-quality credits and support critical greening of the forest products industry.
Kent Gilges, Managing Partner, Conservation Forestry, LLC; Kaarsten Turner Dalby, Sr. Director of Ecological Services , The Forestland Group, LLC; and Rene Taylor, Forest Manager, Columbia Forest Products each shared details of the projects they are developing in the South. “In hearing the discussion and questions, it became even more clear that a big part of the Carbon Canopy will be figuring out how to do carbon sequestration on lands that are primarily pines instead of hardwoods,” Andrew says. “That’s another goal to work toward as we develop these projects.”
In the meantime, Andrew will be pushing forward with the momentum created by the Roundtable.
“It’s very gratifying to know that people and the companies they represent are really interested in what we’re doing with the Carbon Canopy,” he says. “I’m looking forward to following up with them and bringing new partners into the group.”