Over 350 people from the SFI and PLT networks gathered for a week filled with learning and discussion opportunities on the most pressing issues and challenges facing people and the planet, and how forests and environmental education can provide solutions.
SFI’s mission is to advance sustainability through forest-focused collaboration, which is why we chose this year’s theme, “Collaborating for communities and forests.”
Sustainable forests are critical to our collective future. And we saw how collaboration and community are integral to many of our panelists and speakers over the course of our event.
We talked about:
- climate smart forestry and fire resiliency;
- environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets;
- diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI);
- urban forests;
- forest literacy;
- and more!
We had 19 young professionals and students join us as part of our SFI Annual Conference Green Mentor cohort, and they will continue building a mentoring relationship with our volunteer mentors and developing skills over the next four months.
Mentees and mentors pose on stage for a group photo during the 2022 SFI/PLT Annual Conference.
And SFI’s President and CEO, Kathy Abusow, received an unexpected and touching gift when a delegation of Grand Council Treaty #3 Anishinaabe Chiefs from Western Ontario presented her with a blanket ceremony as a show of respect and recognition for her contributions to their communities.
After the 2022 SFI/PLT Annual Conference, we hope attendees will continue to live this community mindset and look for collaborative opportunities to advance nature-based solutions well after the conference. There are so many ways to do this, including connecting with your PLT State Coordinator, advocating for forest literacy in your community, growing the importance of Indigenous engagement within your organization, coordinating with your SFI Implementation Committee on SFI standards, following up with new or old connections and proposing ways you could partner, reaching out to SFI for support or resources, and more.
“As there are more forces that are trying to divide us and bring negative energy, it’s important to have organizations like SFI work to bring us together. And to ensure that forests, forestry, and future generations flourish.”
Executive Director of the Aldo Leopold Foundation and keynote speaker
“Fiber-based packaging actively supports the move to a circular economy. It all starts with sustainably managed forests, such as those certified to SFI.”
President and CEO of Graphic Packaging International and chair of SFI’s board
“My mom didn’t feel comfortable with my pursuing a career in forestry. And if I had folded under my mom’s pressure, I probably wouldn’t be in the forestry field today… So thinking about how you talk to parents about green jobs in forestry and conservation is very important.”
PhD candidate at Michigan State University
“I think over many years, many of us have thought that ESG or social responsibility is something that we should do as a cost. But ESG is just an enormous opportunity. ESG represents an opportunity to gain competitive advantage.”
Managing Director and Senior Partner, Social Impact Practice, Boston Consulting Group
“People care, but often don’t really know what sustainability means. In a forest literate society, people will know the importance of choosing products that are third-party certified.”
—Deb Fillis Ryba
Global Director of CSR and Sustainability, NicePak and PDI
“Everyone’s voice is vital to the future health of our lands, people, communities, and planet. Our ability to sustain forests and natural resources for future generations depends upon building a workforce that represents the communities that we serve.”
Chief of the USDA Forest Service
Louisiana-Pacific won the President’s award for their longstanding leadership in sustainability and its admirable focus on environmental, social, and governance factors. Read the press release
The Quebec SFI Implementation Committee won the SFI Implementation Achievement Award for their dynamic, animated logger training videos. Read the press release.
Weyerhaeuser, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture, American Bird Conservancy, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and West Virginia University won the Leadership in Conservation award for working together on a on a project funded by NFWF and managed by SFI to recover critical species habitat in managed forests in West Virginia. Read the press release.
Paul Trianosky, SFI’s former Chief Conservation Officer, won the Dr. Sharon Haines Memorial Award for Innovation and Leadership in Sustainability. Read the press release.
Traci Knight Ingleright, Janet Schnauss, and Jackie Scott won the PLT Leadership in Education awards for being leading examples of how to deliver PLT in your community.
Rachel Bayer, Environmental Education Specialist with the USDA Forest Service and LeeAnn Mikkelson, Oregon PLT State Coordinator who were both winners of the PLT Gold Star award for their leadership in delivering and partnering on PLT.
THANK YOU SPONSORS
SAVE THE DATES!
2023 SFI ANNUAL CONFERENCE
May 15-19, 2023
Vancouver, BC Canada
2023 PLT CONFERENCE
June 12-15, 2023