The Appalachian Woodlands Alliance (AWA) is a partnership between Rainforest Alliance and forest products leaders Avery Dennison, Columbia Forest Products, Domtar, Evergreen Packaging, Kimberly-Clark, Staples, and the US Forest Service. Working with private landowners, this three-year project—launched in 2015—aims to improve the productivity and health of forests in the southeastern US by fostering sustainable practices.
Learn how AWA works with landowners across the region:
AWA is proud to be partners with industry leaders in sustainability, Staples and Domtar. In June 2017 we joined forces to host a field day for Staples and Domtar customers to explore the working forests of the southeast that produce the forest products we use every day.
Healthy forests are vital to the future of the forest products industry and consumer and corporate interest in sustainably sourced products has never been higher. The AWA ensures that woodland landowners in the Southeast have access to know-how on the best forest management practices so they can apply the best stewardship to their natural resources and achieve a broader market for their products.
The forests of the Southeastern US are unique: these hardwood forests are home to some of the most diverse collections of plants and animals in the world. Economically, the forests in this region generate billions of dollars of forest products each year, much of which is returned to the local area. Private landowners in the Southeast are unique, too: unlike timber company holdings, their forests often consist of smaller tracts of acreage that require careful management for long-term sustainability.
Improving management practices of Southeastern forests today safeguards the livelihoods of landowners and their families for future generations while creating real-time economic benefits across the value chain. The AWA is investing in this region and its landowners for today and tomorrow.
"We hope to provide new resources and tools for woodland owners to be even better stewards..."
Over the years, we have relied on the private woodlands owners of the South to provide responsibly produced wood and fiber to make many of the products that we sell, and have considered them partners in good forest stewardship. Most of the paper products on our shelves are produced in the Southeast region, with wood coming from these privately owned forestlands. With this project, we hope to provide new resources and tools for woodland owners to be even better stewards of their woodlands, and to continue this important partnership.
— Mark Buckley, VP for Environmental Affairs, Staples, Inc.