The September 25 issue of The Economist included a special report on the world's forests, titled “The world’s lungs—Forests, and how to save them”. Reading through several of the articles brought home the importance of efforts by many companies within our own industry to ensure that they are sourcing materials from properly managed, sustainable forestry practices.
During the past couple years, many companies have taken the initiative to achieve certification from organizations such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). In one way, shape, or form, these organizations provide third-party validation of the use of proper forestry management standards and chain-of-custody monitoring. The special report in The Economist drives home the point that these efforts on not merely “window dressing.” I applaud all the companies in our industry that are taking such meaningful steps.
Global warming and the build up of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is a topic of much debate and will continue for a long time to come. Two things that I am reminded of when I think about this issue are Walt Disney World’s Epcot and Apollo 13.
I always loved the symbol for Epcot—Spaceship Earth. It does remind us that Earth is the ultimate spaceship, well “designed” (don’t want to get into that discussion), but with growing concern that it is not being well maintained. That makes me think of just one of the do-or-die issues the astronauts on Apollo 13 had to overcome—the buildup of carbon dioxide that was poisoning them. I sure hope we can head off that problem on our own spaceship before we need to fit a “square peg in a round hole.”