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Community Investment

Our investment in our communities is directly tied to where we have the most impact -- where our employees work and live and where we own and manage our forest lands.

We believe that our employees are the best connections to our communities. They serve on advisory boards to help direct our giving to a variety of causes and groups in their local communities.

How We Invest

We invest in our communities through multiple channels.

First, the majority of our philanthropy is directed through our Giving Fund, which supports programs and organizations in our operating communities across North America to advance education and learning, sustain our communities, and nurture quality of life.

Through our Giving Fund, we:

  • Contribute cash contributions to community organizations through a local grant-making process. In 2012, we contributed $2.1 million to local organizations.
  • Support employee volunteers and their causes through our WAVES program, including approximately $71K in paid employee volunteer time.
  • Sponsor our annual Operation Diaper Drive, a companywide initiative formed in partnership with World Vision.
  • Provide disaster-relief funding (and volunteer support through our employee involvement program).

Second, our businesses provide direct support to our communities and help advance key strategic or business priorities. In 2012, our businesses contributed $913 thousand in charitable donations and sponsorships and more than $238 thousand of in-kind donations. Our Corporate Headquarters region also has an annual seedling donations program.

Finally, we invest in research and partnerships that create new products and improve best management practices, ensuring that our industry and our company are at the forefront of new science and discoveries. In 2012, we contributed $649 thousand to various research projects and partnerships.

All of these efforts, combined with the cost of supporting and managing our community investment program, add up to a total giving of $4.3 million in 2012.

Measuring Our Giving

In 2012, we began tracking and reporting our giving information based on the LBG Corporate Citizenship model. By applying the LBG model, we are able to assess and report our total community investment.

How we give: First, we categorize our giving by the type of contribution we make: whether it was made in cash, donated in-kind or through our employees volunteering on paid time, or as a cost of running our community investment program.

Why we give: Next, we calculate the distribution of our giving among three different motivations: charitable donations, community investments, and commercial investments.

Since this is our first year tracking our giving data based on this model, we are only reporting giving data for 2012. In future years, we will be able to show giving trends over time.

2012 Giving
Millions of dollars (US)
How We Give
Cash Contributions $3.7
In-Kind Giving $0.2
Employee Time1 $0.1
Management Overhead $0.3
Total Giving $4.3
 
Why We Give
Charitable Donations 69%
Community Investments 17%
Commercial Investments 14%
  1. Our current tracking system does not distinguish volunteer time done on paid or unpaid time. We know, however, that many of our employees volunteer on paid time -- and we encourage them to, when appropriate. Thus, our employee time value is a conservative estimate based on the patterns of employee volunteering.
Story Image
You've heard of yarding? This is back-yarding. To log this close to someone's home, Black Rock employees need a solid relationship with the community.
Good day at Black Rock
Mutual support makes tree farm and town good neighbors
3/9/2012

An unusually powerful rainstorm hit western Oregon this January. In tiny Falls City, gushing water and debris proved too powerful for the two culverts under Mitchell Street. As the drains filled up and then plugged, flood waters from Dutch Creek surged over the city-owned access road to Weyerhaeuser's Black Rock Tree Farm. Passage was impossible, halting log traffic and stranding residents of homes along the road.

"We were up to our ears in water," says Amy Houghtaling, the town's mayor. "With just two public works employees and inadequate equipment, we couldn't fix it. We called Weyerhaeuser about eight that night and they came out the next day."

Calling on company contractors with powerful backhoes, Mark Baumgartner, Black Rock's harvesting manager, was glad to help the town bordering the 50,000-arcre tree farm.

"Even though the city is responsible for maintaining the road, it's a main hauling route for our logs," he says. "We have a vested interest in keeping it open."

It's also the neighborly thing to do and one of the many ways Weyerhaeuser supports the community of about 960 people.

Weyerhaeuser paid to dig trenches and repair the culverts. The company then donated a third culvert to the city, and hauled in new gravel for the road and rock armor for reinforcement. During the repairs, tree farm gates were opened as alternative routes for homeowners.

The mayor was so pleased she wrote a letter to the local paper, thanking Weyerhaeuser "for their manpower, time and resources. Falls City is very lucky to have such great community supporters."

Reaching out isn't new to Baumgartner, who spent the first two decades of his 30-year career operating under Willamette Industries' Good Neighbor Policy. When he became a Weyerhaeuser employee, he was pleased to find a similar philosophy supported by company leaders.

"We need open communication and good relationships in order to operate," Baumgartner says, "especially when we're literally in someone's back yard."

For instance, when the company harvested a 43-acre unit within city limits, there were several issues for Baumgartner and forest engineer Todd Wollman to consider, such as dust problems, noise, and tree removals close to homes and driveways. And Weyerhaeuser uses the town's main street to haul logs past the fire station, stores and high school.

To help mitigate problems, the company maintains roads for dust abatement, offers professional harvesting help to neighbors, follows strict driving practices through town, and works closely with the Falls City's public works department.

It's even donated a refurbished road grader to the city. And after the flood, Baumgartner contacted the Luckiamute watershed council to explore ways for Falls City to permanently fix the road crossing on a cost-share basis.

"It's a good mutual partnership," says Houghtaling. "Weyerhaeuser relies on the city and we rely on them. It's really nice when we aren't hearing complaints at city hall."

Story Image
2012's Triple Play team pauses for a group portrait at the Tacoma/Pierce County fundraising walk for the March of Dimes.
Feets of strength
Weyerhaeuser team helps the March of Dimes help babies
5/10/2013

​John Devore first participated in a March of Dimes walkathon in 1978. A fifth grader at the time, Devore completed eight of the 20 miles at the annual fundraiser. Vowing to return and finish, he walked all 20 miles in 1979.

Roxann Swenson and Paula Edelstein each have healthy children who were born prematurely. As mothers of twin girls who received special care during their first months, their experiences touched them deeply and helped form their awareness and appreciation for the March of Dimes.

Devore, Swenson and Edelstein are members of the Corporate Region's March of Dimes planning team. They recently attended the nonprofit's annual recognition event where Weyerhaeuser was honored for its 2012 efforts.

"Weyerhaeuser's had a longtime commitment to the March of Dimes," says Devore, team leader in the Shared Services Organization who accepted the recognition plaque for the company. "Last year we wanted to increase participation in the walk and get more visibility. Folks really responded."

Triple Play for babies
For the Tacoma/Pierce County-area walk, the team settled on a Triple Play theme. The goal was to sign up at least 200 people (employees, friends and family), get $10,000 in donations, and qualify for the maximum $5,000 WAVES grant.

They knocked it out of the park. Their 213 walkers brought in more than $13,000 and the final donation to March of Dimes exceeded $18,000. Weyerhaeuser's corporate team was one of the top three contributors to Pierce County's 2012 fundraiser.

Now the team wants to keep the momentum going.

March of Dimes
The charity was founded in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt to combat polio. Seventy-five years later, the research and education funded by the March of Dimes have helped eliminate deadly diseases and protect newborns, especially those born prematurely.

"So many things can go wrong with a premature pregnancy," says Edelstein, HR director for Cellulose Fibers whose five-year old daughters weighed less than three pounds at birth. "That's when I learned about the extent of the March of Dimes' research and advocacy."

Swenson's girls, now 11, look forward each year to walking in the fundraiser, which has shortened to three miles since Devore's trek in the Seventies.

"They get it," says Swenson, welfare manager in Employee Benefits. "They understand how their lives were touched because of the work of the March of Dimes."

March for Babies
To mark the charitable walking event's 75th anniversary, Weyerhaeuser's Corporate Region team is looking for at least 175 walkers to participate this May. The target donation goal is $17,500, which they hope to add to another WAVES grant.

"It was really fun," says Swenson, "to see all those Weyerhaeuser walkers wearing their WAVES t-shirts last year. We know all that green is raising a lot of ‘green' for March of Dimes."

Last updated July 3, 2013