Hearst Looks to Boost Paper Supply from Certified Forests

The state of Maine leads the nation in percentage of certified sustainable forests, but it still has close to 10 million acres of forests–mostly owned by small, family-run operations–that are not certified. Time Inc. and Hearst Enterprises, a division of Hearst Corporation, are hoping to change that by launching a pilot program this month with the aim of helping small- and medium-sized landowners in Maine to achieve third-party forest certification for sustainable growing and harvesting practices. This, in turn, will provide new sources of certified fiber for Time. Perhaps print is not dead, after all.

The goals are to certify an additional one million acres of Maine forests, and also to establish a model for how large organizations can help small and medium forestry companies to achieve certification by making the certification process more efficient.

Hearst is partnering with three paper manufacturers–NewPage Corporation, Sappi Fine Papers and Verso–on the project. These firms plan to engage with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), two organizations that develop and provide third-party auditing services for sustainable forestry standards.

The landowners that participate in the program will receive help in terms of preparing for third-party certification audits–through either the SFI or ATFS program–and by providing lower costs for auditing processes, based on efficiencies through the number of landowners that participate.

Freelance writer Mary Catherine O'Connor finds that a growing number of companies are proving the ways that they can make good financially, socially and environmentally (as the triple bottom line theory suggests).With that in mind, she contributes to Triple Pundit, as well as to Earth2Tech and other pubs focused on sustainability. She also writes The Good Route, an Outside Magazine blog that addresses the intersection of sustainability and the active/outdoor life.To find out more, or to reach her, go to www.mcoconnor.com.