Westminster, CO — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced today that Brian J. Kernohan, Chief Sustainability Officer and Director of Policy at Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) is the winner of the 2018 SFI Leadership in Conservation Award. This award, announced at the SFI Annual Conference, recognizes SFI Program Participants and individuals across the U.S. and Canada who drive conservation results through partnerships.

“Some people are known for one singular, outstanding initiative and others are known for theirthoughtful, creative, solutions-oriented approach to solving conservation challenges and for bringing others along with them. Whether as a member or former chair of the SFI Resources Committee, the SFIEmerging Issues Task Force, or SFI’s Conservation Impact Sounding Board, Brian’s collaboration skills have helped advance SFI’s thinking in critical areas,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

Kernohan’s strong leadership and collaboration skills can be seen in several research projects that are part of the SFI Conservation Impact Project and for his role on the SFI Conservation Impact Sounding Board. The SFI Conservation Impact Project is quantifying the conservation benefits of SFI’s work and theconnection to sustainable supply chains. The research focuses on water, climate change and biodiversity. The Sounding Board consists of a diverse group of scientists and sustainability experts.

Under Kernohan’s leadership, HNRG is a key partner in the American Bird Conservancy’s (ABC) Working Forests for The Birds Project. It focuses on Oregon’s Klamath Mountains and the pine and bottomland forests of the Southeastern U.S. to assess the relationship between forest management practices and benefits to at-risk bird species on forestlands certified to SFI and lands subject to SFI Fiber Sourcing.

Kernohan is also heavily involved in NatureServe’s Conservation Values of Forests Project, which is developing and testing metrics for rapidly assessing the relative condition and function of ecosystems, enabling consistent and objective evaluation of biodiversity attributes. Both the NatureServe and ABC projects are developing new methods for evaluating habitats at regional and continental scales and feature unprecedented cross-boundary collaborative approaches.

“It really is impossible to overstate Brian’s contribution to forest conservation. As SFI works to develop clarity about the important conservation outcomes from managed forests, Brian’s leadership has beencritical to growing the necessary partnerships and guiding the science to ensure the value of results,” saidPaul Trianosky, SFI’s Chief Conservation Officer.

At Hancock Natural Resource Group, Kernohan is responsible for the sustainability and responsible investing program, and for public policy engagement. HNRG is a registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation. Based in Boston, HNRG’s timberland division manages approximately 6 million acres/2.4 million hectares of forests across the United States and in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Chile.


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The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, nonprofit organization that leverages four interconnected pillars of work: standards, conservation, community, and education. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and governments. Collaborating with our network, we leverage SFI-certified forests and products as powerful tools to help solve sustainability challenges such as climate action, conservation of biodiversity, education of future generations, and sustainable economic development.

Christine Leduc
VP, Communications and Government Relations
Sustainable Forestry Initiative