Foundation, alignment, impact
Building on more than 120 years of expertise in sustainable forestry, we are driven to innovate and improve on our sustainability practices and leadership every day — in our forests and mills, across our business activities and throughout our company.
In 2020, we launched our current sustainability strategy, reorganizing and intensifying our focus around three core areas: maintaining our strong foundation of ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance, strengthening the integration of sustainability into our key business processes and priorities, and demonstrating the positive impact of our actions.
In the two years since we launched our current sustainability strategy, it’s never been clearer to me that Weyerhaeuser’s commitment to sustainability is both steadfast and evolving. We’ve already made big strides in all three of our core focus areas, and we continue to learn and develop new ways to advance our sustainability performance and leadership.
We met our 2021 ESG goals and are on track to meet our 2022 goals. We successfully integrated sustainability into our business roadmaps, enabling employees across business lines to identify key sustainability levers and clearly see how their day-to-day work impacts our overall performance. And we’ve demonstrated Weyerhaeuser’s positive impact on climate solutions, sustainable homes and thriving rural communities in the progress we’ve made — and the partnerships we’ve built — through our 3 by 30 Sustainability Ambitions.
We’re fortunate to have a sustainability strategy fully supported and embraced by our company leadership and our employees. Not only are we positioned to meet the changing demands of society and our stakeholders, but we’re also fulfilling our century-old promise to build a company that improves lives today and for generations to come.
Vice President, Corporate Sustainability
Employees Share Their Passion for Our 3 by 30 Sustainability Ambitions
MaintainING Our ESG Foundation
For decades, we have delivered solid results in environmental stewardship, social responsibility and strong governance. To drive continued excellence in these areas, we follow a 10-year roadmap that ensures we review our ESG performance and improvement opportunities on a consistent schedule. The roadmap structures our work into action areas with two alternating phases: periodic strategy reviews and annual ongoing improvements. The strategy reviews provide the time and direction for our teams to think holistically about process changes or other more substantial improvements necessary to continue delivering strong results. During the annual ongoing improvements, our program areas and teams identify and implement any adjustments necessary to ensure our ESG foundation continues to be solid and everlasting.
In 2021, we completed a strategy review of our performance within the fast-growing environment of ESG indices and ratings groups. The outcome of this review was a prioritization of the key ESG frameworks, assessments and questionnaires we devote time and resources to in order to ensure our performance is measured accurately.
We focus our attention on six key ratings (S&P Global, MSCI, CDP, Sustainalytics, ISS and Bloomberg ESG) to measure our performance, while we also remain responsive to other questionnaires and ad-hoc requests. In addition to these ratings, we currently summarize our alignment with four prominent ESG frameworks: the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are closely monitoring the development of new standards through the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the Task Force on Climate-related Nature Disclosures (TNFD).
In addition to this strategy review, we made considerable progress in all our ESG foundation action areas, particularly in our response to addressing safety concerns during the COVID pandemic, the launch of a new inclusion strategy and goals, and a comprehensive agreement on changes to the forest practice rules in Oregon.
The business alignment portion of our strategy focuses on further integrating sustainability into our existing planning and everyday operations. This process also helps increase visibility into how our goals and commitments directly improve sustainability outcomes, allowing our teams to see and celebrate their sustainability wins across our operations.
From more effectively considering sustainability outcomes during annual business planning to connecting sustainability performance to daily work, our businesses have introduced several innovative approaches to embed sustainability into both our business planning and everyday operations.
Business Alignment Highlights
Our Wood Products business, which includes 35 manufacturing facilities and 19 distribution centers, successfully integrated sustainability considerations into each site’s roadmap for the second year. Additionally, each product line identified two key focus areas, or sustainability levers, including decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency. In 2022, we are integrating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions into the capital planning process, ensuring clear visibility across our company, from the site level to the leadership level. To further drive improvement, each mill is identifying and implementing near-term projects to immediately improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and move toward energy independence.
Last year, our Timberlands business, which is responsible for the management of about 11 million acres of working forests in the U.S. and another 14 million under long-term license in Canada, integrated sustainability into all 15 regional business plans. As an outcome of this process, each region identified more than 100 currently planned activities with a direct impact on our overall sustainability performance. The top levers include maintaining certification to the SFI Forest Management Standard and adapting to the new standard requirements; protecting water quality through our harvesting methods, establishment of riparian buffers, and road monitoring and maintenance program; increasing log transportation efficiencies; and reducing chemical use and impact during vegetation management activities.
Our Corporate Development organization is responsible for maximizing the value of every acre through end-to-end portfolio management, from responsible acquisitions and divestitures to working with expert partners to implement renewable energy, mitigation banking, natural resources, climate solutions and real estate development projects. In 2021, the business developed an ESG screening tool, enabling teams to evaluate potential partners and opportunities against key ESG criteria. This tool also helps the business understand the top sustainability concerns of communities near where we are exploring or developing new projects. An additional key focus area for this business is delivering natural climate solutions to the market and maintaining the credibility of forest carbon projects and other nature-based climate change solutions.
We know that individuals and communities expect companies to help solve some of the world's toughest and most pressing challenges. We couldn’t agree more. Our 3 by 30 Sustainability Ambitions focus on three areas where we play an important role and can make a meaningful difference by 2030: climate solutions, sustainable homes and rural communities. We can’t solve these challenges alone, but we know our vast forests, land and the essential products we make put us in a unique position to have a tangible and lasting positive impact.
Since we launched our 3 by 30 Sustainability Ambitions in 2020, we have focused on defining what success looks like, exploring and developing new relationships and key partnerships, and piloting and testing initial ideas and actions. We share key accomplishments toward these current focus areas and objectives semiannually. In the next phase of this effort, we will focus on a few critical actions and identify influential strategic partnerships and investments. By 2030, we will demonstrate real, measurable impact.
- Climate Solutions: We recognize that climate change has the potential to cause enormous disruption in our world. We are committed to helping prove how our forests and wood products can contribute to climate change solutions.
- Sustainable Homes: We recognize that quality, affordable housing is in short supply in communities across North America. We are committed to helping drive improvements in how sustainable wood products can help provide abundant, creative opportunities for ensuring everyone has access to a quality, sustainable home.
- Rural Communities: We recognize that barriers to economic and social prosperity can be difficult to overcome in rural communities across North America. We are committed to helping drive measurable results in ensuring rural communities are great places to live, work and do business.
HOW DO WE MAKE SURE WE STAY ON TRACK?
It starts with oversight and direction from the very top of our company and cascades through all levels:
- Our board of directors and its Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee review, at least annually, our sustainability performance and progress toward goals, including our response to climate change, emerging issues, key opportunities and new trends.
- Our executive leadership team guides our strategy and keeps us focused on the most critical opportunities and needs.
- Cross-functional staff and business leaders support the implementation of our strategy by identifying opportunities, risks and external trends and providing recommendations to ensure optimal performance.
- Our Sustainability team provides structure and guidance for implementing our strategy, ensuring internal and external engagement, reporting on our progress and equipping our businesses, teams and employees with the tools they need to share our sustainability story with their key stakeholders.