Shari Brown, director of environment and sustainability with Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY), joined REIT.com for a video interview at NAREIT’s 2013 Leader in the Light Working Forum in La Quinta, Calif.
Brown said the principles of sustainability are ingrained in the fabric of Weyerhaeuser.
“The core of our company is our land and forest,” Brown said. “We take seriously our role of being responsible stewards. We plant trees and eventually we harvest those trees make all kinds of useful products to our everyday lives. After harvest, we re-plant and begin the cycle again for the next generation. It’s really that long-term view coupled with delivering short-term results across our pillars of people, performance and planet that is the definition of sustainability embedded in Weyerhaeuser’s DNA.”
Brown provided an update on the company’s progress towards its goals in sustainability.
“Our vision is to deliver superior sustainable solutions to the world,” Brown said. “To achieve that vision, we’ve developed a comprehensive set of goals out to the year 2020. We measure and track our progress towards those goals annually. So far we’ve been able to make good progress towards not only reducing our environmental footprint, but also towards developing new businesses and product lines that have environmental benefits.”
Among its accomplishments, Weyerhaeuser has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent, and the company’s pulp division has reduced its water usage by nearly 20 percent since 2000.
“We continually work on improving our energy efficiency and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels,” Brown said.
Brown said Weyerhaeuser’s wood products division is working with builders construct new homes using energy-efficient techniques and materials, such as its insulated building materials.
Brown also discussed Weyerhaeuser’s efforts to promote the company’s sustainability achievements.
“We produce an annual sustainability report that has comprehensive information about our sustainability performance,” she said. “We also include information about our sustainability performance in our presentations to investors. I would say that our investors seem to appreciate our attention to both long- and short-term risks and opportunities.”
Brown also mentioned that Weyerhaeuser has been recognized by a number of third-party groups that have a sustainability focus.