TriplePundit is reporting live from the Fortune Brainstorm Green 2013 conference in Laguna Niguel, CA. Follow along on this page for ongoing video interviews with sustainability thought leaders, corporate change agents and entrepreneurs who are leading the way to a more sustainable future.
International Paper is among the world’s largest forest products companies. Over the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Teri Shanahan, International Paper’s VP of sustainability on a number of occasions and gotten to know the company as well. We reviewed International Paper’s sustainability report last year.
The paper industry in general has a very large environmental footprint across a vast spectrum of resources. However, in most developed countries, paper is generally not a principal cause of deforestation. Building material, agriculture, and general development are far and away the driving forces removing forested lands. A properly managed and third-party-certified paper company, on the other hand, can actually be a long term protector of forests.
The details of exactly how such responsible stewardship is determined and enforced are very complicated. I got together with Teri and James McDonald, a manager on Teri’s team, to kick off a conversation we hope will shed some light on the process. This is the longest of our Fortune Brainstorm interviews, so get a coffee and digest: