Earlier this year, Dogwood Alliance reached an agreement with the largest paper company in the world, International Paper (IP) to make improvements to the way they operate in the woods across the South. IP and Dogwood Alliance will work together to map forests around International Paper’s southeastern operations to identify endangered forests and high conservation value areas, ensuring that IP is not sourcing from any endangered forests and not negatively affecting other important forests.
This agreement comes on the heels of years of public campaigning, where you helped us convince large corporations like Staples, Office Depot and YUM! Brands (parent company of KFC) that Southern forests are too special to be destroyed for paper. Our agreement with IP means that they hear your message loud and clear.
We are now at the start of a process of working together to manifest this change on the ground and in the woods where it matters most. In late August, we met with IP executives from Memphis and procurement foresters from North and South Carolina to chart our route forward. We agreed to a timeline and work plan covering each element of our agreement.
I am well aware that as we are working with IP and even after IP has followed through on its commitments, the woods will continue to feel the large impacts of the forest products industry. Ultimately, there is still much more work to be done to protect Southern forests. For now, this is where the rubber hits the road, and Dogwood is working hard to make sure our important agreement with IP delivers on its promise.
Watch this for my take on the meeting.