Sappi North America partners with American Forest Foundation and GreenBlue on new forest sustainability risk assessment platform

Sappi North America, Inc. announced a partnership with the non-profit organisations American Forest Foundation (AFF) and GreenBlue to support the Forests in Focus sustainability risk assessment. Forests in Focus will provide customers, brand owners and investors with user-friendly analyses of the sustainability strengths and risk profile of forested lands across specified landscapes. The platform aims to be launched publicly by summer 2020.

Utilising credible, scientific-based information gathered by third parties, the platform is designed to complement existing forest certification programmes and provide an account of sustainability for U.S. woodbaskets, in the context of global supply systems. As an early adopter and investor in the programme, Sappi will leverage the new technology to support and validate its sustainability claims and to monitor risks and further strengthen its supply chain.

GreenBlue’s Forest Products Working Group (FPWG) and AFF partnered to develop Forests in Focus to fill a void in sustainable sourcing. The platform uses a vast complex, publicly-available dataset from the U.S. Forest Service, NatureServe and other sources, and distills the information into understandable metrics and trends for companies in the forest product supply chain.

The platform empowers users to define, measure and communicate their commitment to sustainable forest management with a new level of transparency into supply chains, powered by data visualisation and aggregation.

Collectively, individual and family-owned land account for more than one-third of all forests across the U.S., more forest land than the federal government manages on behalf of the public. These lands are owned by more than 21 million individual owners, in small tracts that average 67 acres in size. According to the Forest Service, these lands collectively supply more than 50% of the wood harvested and flowing into supply chains in the U.S.