Foundation, alignment, impact
Building on more than a century 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 our positive impact.
Weyerhaeuser’s commitment to sustainability is deeper than ever. As we move into the fourth year of our current sustainability strategy, I continue to be inspired by the passion, ingenuity and commitment of our people. And the strong partnerships we built, both internal and external, will help us advance our sustainability goals and improve lives across our communities for years to come.
In 2022, we made great progress toward our goals, and I am excited by the momentum we are carrying into 2023. To ensure our forests and wood products operations are contributing to climate change solutions, we released our award-winning Carbon Record and joined The Climate Pledge, committing to achieving net-zero emissions by 2040. We completed a comprehensive review of our safety strategy to keep us progressing toward our goal of operating injury-free, and we are implementing identified improvements across our operations. To strengthen the inclusive culture of our company, more than 500 leaders received inclusive leadership training, and we re-launched six employee resource groups with companywide reach. We also improved our company giving program with more flexible and engaging employee tools, and we provided $5.6 million in charitable grants, in-kind donations and sponsorships in our communities.
We are witnessing the power of our Sustainability Strategy to inspire action and positive change. Our employees are truly proud of the work we do to sustainably manage a renewable resource — our working forests — and that we create essential, long-lived wood products. I am heartened by our company’s passion for thinking strategically and addressing large-scale challenges such as the climate crisis and equitable access to housing and quality of life through our 3 by 30 Sustainability Ambitions. And I am thankful for the partnerships, such as with American Forests and Habitat for Humanity International, that will enable us to make a real difference for our operating communities and advance the sustainability and longevity of our company as a whole.
Vice President, Corporate Sustainability
Our 3 by 30 Sustainability Ambitions in the Words of Our Employees
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 plan that ensures we review our ESG performance and implement improvement opportunities on a consistent schedule. The plan structures our work into two alternating phases: strategy reviews and ongoing improvements. The strategy reviews take place on a periodic basis and provide the time and direction for our teams to think holistically about larger process changes or other more substantial improvements necessary to continue delivering strong results. We assess ongoing improvements annually when our program areas and teams identify and implement any adjustments necessary to ensure our ESG foundation remains solid and continues to improve.
We are committed to providing transparency on our ESG performance by sharing our performance metrics publicly, providing robust content across our sustainability website, creating an annual sustainability snapshot and disclosing information to key ESG frameworks, assessments and questionnaires.
Based on a strategic review conducted in 2021, 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).
The business alignment portion of our strategy focuses on further integrating sustainability into our planning and everyday operations. This process ensures sustainability is considered during business planning, increases visibility into how our business goals and commitments impact sustainability outcomes, and allows 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, we have introduced several innovative approaches to embed sustainability deeply within our business processes.
Business Alignment Highlights
In 2022, all our businesses integrated sustainability into their business plans and identified their key sustainability impact areas. We also introduced tools to help our teams understand their site or region’s sustainability story and share it both internally and externally. This year, we are continuing to expand on these successes by identifying mechanisms to measure progress against each business’s sustainability impact areas and creating additional communications tools. We will also seek direct customer feedback to better understand how we can help meet their sustainability needs.
In 2022, our Wood Products business added the consideration of greenhouse gas emissions into the capital planning process, joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants program and committed to reducing our energy use by 10 percent by 2030 through improved energy efficiency. We also developed a customer-focused sustainability brochure to show our customers how our products can help them reach their sustainability goals.
Our teams identified 11 key areas to our sustainability performance, including improving reliability, employee growth and development, and safety and risk reduction. In 2023, we remain focused on these areas and will be implementing processes to measure and report progress.
In 2022, our Timberlands business maintained certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Forest Management Standard and adapted our operations to meet the new SFI® standard requirements. Our Timberlands teams also identified their key sustainability impact areas and over the coming year will be crafting performance goals to drive focus in these areas.
In 2022, our Corporate Development organization identified ways in which different aspects of its business can improve sustainability outcomes. In 2023, a key focus area for this business will be developing forest carbon projects, renewable energy and other nature-based climate change solutions. Additional focus areas include strengthening land conservation, integrating resource protection design principles into real estate development, and incorporating climate risk into our business model.
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 base and the essential products we make put us in a unique position to have a tangible and lasting positive impact.
When we launched our 3 by 30 Sustainability Ambitions in 2020, we 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 our focus areas and objectives annually. The next phase of this effort will be focused on a few critical actions and deepening our engagement with influential and strategic partnerships. 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 oversee our sustainability performance and progress toward goals. They review our progress, including our response to climate change, emerging issues, key opportunities and new trends, at least annually.
- Our executive leadership team guides our strategy and keeps us focused on the most critical opportunities and needs.
- Our sustainability strategy steering committee, which includes cross-functional staff and business leaders, supports the implementation of our strategy by identifying opportunities, risks and external trends and providing recommendations to ensure optimal performance.
- Our Sustainability and Communications teams 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.