T. Bently Wigley Wins the Dr. Sharon Haines Memorial Award for Innovation and Leadership in Sustainability

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced the 2019 SFI Dr. Sharon Haines Memorial Award For Innovation and Leadership in Sustainability at the SFI Annual Conference today. Dr. T. Bently Wigley, retired Vice President of Forestry Programs at the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI), is this year’s winner.

“Bently’s contributions to wildlife and forestry science is extensive and will be influential for decades to come. He was instrumental in setting the precedent for robust, well-designed, and impactful research within the forestry sector, which has contributed significantly to our ability to communicate values of forest management for environmental outcomes with diverse stakeholders and regulatory agencies,” said Darren Miller, Vice President, Forestry Programs at NCASI. “Bently truly was as an ambassador for the forest sector.”

SFI and International Paper created this award to celebrate Dr. Sharon Haines. Sharon was International Paper’s Director of the Office of Sustainability before her sudden passing in 2007.

“The award pays tribute to Sharon’s legacy by recognizing exceptional people like Bently who are leaders when it comes to forward-thinking approaches to sustainability and fostering collaboration,” said Tom Cleves, International Paper’s vice president of global citizenship.  

“Bently was always among the first people I would contact when seeking guidance or engagement on scientific investigations,” said Paul Trianosky, Chief Conservation Officer at SFI. “His counsel helped guide the establishment of SFI’s Conservation Impact Project, and specifically contributed to building understanding of conservation outcomes associated with implementation of the SFI standards.”

The SFI Conservation Impact Project is focused on measuring the biodiversity maintained and recovered, the water purified, and the carbon sequestered on forests certified to the SFI Forest Management Standard or managed under the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard.

These conservation impact projects represent a significant opportunity to quantify and communicate the positive conservation outcomes associated with the almost 370 million acres/150 million hectares of SFI‑certified forestland in the U.S. and Canada and the tens of millions more acres positively influenced by the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard. Results of the SFI Conservation Impact project will also be considered in the SFI Standard revision process as part of SFI’s commitment to continual improvement and adaptive management. 

Wigley joined NCASI in 1990 as a forest wildlife scientist. Prior to that he was an Associate Professor in Forest Wildlife Ecology at the University of Arkansas-Monticello. He holds a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology and botany from Mississippi State University.

“Scientists like Bently have helped the SFI community understand how the SFI Standards address critical conservation issues. It is a pleasure to recognize Bently for the Sharon Haines Memorial Award as both Sharon and Bently dedicated their professional lives to sustainability leadership in the forest sector,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

About International Paper
International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging, pulp and paper products with manufacturing operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, North Africa, India and Russia. We produce corrugated packaging products that protect and promote goods, and enable world-wide commerce; pulp for diapers, tissue and other personal hygiene products that promote health and wellness; and papers that facilitate education and communication. We are headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., employ more than 52,000 colleagues and serve more than 25,000 customers in 150 countries. Net sales for 2018 were $23 billion. For more information about International Paper, our products and global citizenship efforts, please visit internationalpaper.com.

About Dr. Sharon G. Haines
Dr. Sharon G. Haines, who died on Aug. 10, 2007, was the first director of International Paper’s Office of Sustainability. Her successes included developing many of the company’s innovative partnerships with conservation groups, leading the development of its sustainable forestry programs, championing projects to protect endangered species across company land, helping to establish sustainable forestry policy issues at the national and international levels, and mentoring colleagues to help them excel professionally. Haines was selected as a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters and received an American Forest & Paper Association 2005 Conservation Award. She was a member of the National Commission on the Science of Sustainable Forestry and worked with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

About the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Inc.
SFI Inc. advances sustainability through forest-focused collaborations. We are an independent, non-profit organization that demonstrates our commitment to forests through our work in standards, conservation, education, and community. SFI works with the forest sector, conservation groups, academics, researchers, brand owners, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous Peoples, and governments to achieve a vision of a world that values and benefits from sustainably managed forests. Learn more.

About the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement
The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI) is a scientific association organized to serve the forest products industry as a center of excellence providing unbiased, scientific research and technical information necessary to achieve the industry’s environmental and sustainability goals.  NCASI is a 501(c)(6) non-profit. Learn more.

Media contacts

Daniel Pellegrom
Vice President, Communications
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Adam Ghassemi
Staff Communications Manager, Corporate Communications
International Paper

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