Weyerhaeuser Named to Sustainability Index

Timber REIT Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI). The company, based in the state of Washington, was one of only eight companies that focus on building materials to be included in the world index.

Out of the largest 2,500 companies in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index, the Sustainability Index tracks the top 10 percent in terms of sustainability. It bases its ratings on companies' economic, environmental and social performance. The Sustainability Index makes a determination based on reviewing factors such as corporate governance, risk management, customer relationships, climate change strategy and labor practices.

Weyerhaeuser has been on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America since 2005. However, Shari Brown, director of environment and sustainability for the company, said this is only the second time the company has been listed on the world index.

"It's exciting and a pretty prestigious recognition," Brown said.

Brown said the seeds of Weyerhaeuser's sustainability program were planted when the company was created in 1900.).

"We like to think that we've been doing sustainability since our founding," she said. "Our product takes 40 to 50 years to mature."

Brown added that the company has been publishing an environment report since the early 1990s and began publishing a sustainability report in 2002.

Dan Fulton, president and chief executive officer, said Weyerhaeuser works to incorporate all aspects of sustainability into the company's practices.

"Third-party recognition, such as the DJSI, helps affirm that we are effectively managing sustainability risk and opportunities to deliver long-term results to our stakeholders," Fulton said.

Brown said Weyerhaeuser is currently focused on its sustainability strategy, which was developed in 2010. At that time, the company made sustainability commitments based on benchmarking, gap analysis, and leadership engagement, then set specific targets to achieve by 2020.

So far some of the things that Weyerhaeuser has done include ensuring that 95 percent of its timberlands worldwide are certified to sustainable standards, certifying and labeling all of its forest products to sustainable forestry standards and adopting green building standards for new company-owned manufacturing sites and office buildings.

In 2011, Weyerhaeuser has also focused on making progress toward other goals such as integrating components of the sustainability strategy into business systems and planning, engaging and educating employees about the new strategy and finalizing its product stewardship policy.

In addition, Weyerhaeuser was also named the most admired forest products company in the world by Fortune magazine in June 2011.