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Consider Your Company’s Impact During National Forest Week

Consider Your Company’s Impact During National Forest Week

Businesses can have an enormous impact on Canadian forests, from the materials used in their products to the sustainability of their operations.

When most of us visit one of Canada’s forests, we’re seeking an escape into nature. A walk in the woods can be a way to relieve stress, for instance. Exploring a forest can also provide sights and sounds that make us feel more grateful than ever for the country we call home.

There’s one thing we might not always recognize, however: although we may see the forest as a refuge from the hustle and bustle, Canadian forests are always hard at work.

All those strong tree trunks are powerful tools for storing greenhouse gasses that could otherwise pollute the air. Trees also work with the rest of the environment to keep temperatures more manageable, and they provide a home to a biodiverse set of animals and other plants. No matter where they’re located, in other words, Canadian forests are tireless contributors to the planet’s sustainability.

With this in mind, it’s no wonder that the theme of this year’s National Forrest Week is “Solutions For A Changing Climate.” Running Sept. 18 to 24, National Forest Week is not only an opportunity to celebrate the sector but to consider its contribution as a renewable, natural resource.

There will be plenty of ways to participate in National Forest Week, from local events to content that will be shared on social media. The invitation to reflect on the role of forests in our lives, however, is not limited to individual Canadians.

Businesses can have an enormous impact on how we treat Canadian forests, from the materials used in the products they sell to the sustainability of their operations and the causes they support. That means National Forest Week should not only be on business leaders’ radar – it should mark a moment to take greater actions to promote sustainable forest practices.

If you weren’t familiar with National Forest Week or are uncertain what steps to take, here’s a handful of ideas that are both inexpensive and highly effective:

1. Set An Positive Example Through Tree Planting

Just as hybrid work policies are showing how businesses can empower their employees work from anywhere, companies can also drive greater sustainability from anywhere. Helping to rebuild a Canadian forest is a great way to start.

This isn’t an initiative firms need to develop on their own, necessarily. There are plenty of non-profits that regularly organize tree planting activities and who are open to collaboration. In fact, Salesforce has an ongoing partnership with One Tree Planted that aims to grow and conserve more than 500,000 native trees on B.C. Nazko First Nation Territory.

2. Explore Digitization To Reduce The Use Of Forest Products

The business case to cut back on paper in the office is easy to make by now. Keeping information trapped on materials that need to be printed can lead to loss of version control, lots of manual effort and errors. That’s why so many organizations are moving to cloud-based platforms that turn that information into data that can be used more readily to improve employee and customer experiences.

The business case becomes even stronger, however, when you realize how much digitization to help to conserve our forests. From annual reports to everyday communication about marketing and sales, digital technologies make information more accessible and spare trees at the same time. Start by doing an honest appraisal about the use of paper in your company today, and where changes could be made.

3. Opt For Forest-Friendly Suppliers And Partners

It’s not just trees that exist within an ecosystem. Businesses do too – they often need many different third parties to supply raw materials, help fulfill orders and provide post-sale services.

Your efforts to promote conservation and sustainability internally is a great first step, but don’t forget to consider the next one. Talk to companies in your ecosystem about their own use of forest products, and encourage any strategies they’re pursuing to improve. Make sure it’s clear that protecting our forest is a value that your business and your customers share. It might make them consider it a bigger priority, too.

4. Make A Visible Effort To Learn About Sustainable Forest Practices

You might already have a strong marketing team that uses social media to promote information about your products and services. The same tools can be harnessed to share the ways your team is showing up during National Forest Week and beyond.

Post photos of you and your coworkers touring a forest sector industry or processing site to Instagram. Tweet notes you take on how to help prevent forest fires. Provide progress updates on your sustainability strategy on your LinkedIn company page.

5. Amplify The Forest Champions In Your Midst

Social media and other marketing channels aren’t simply a mechanism for tooting your own horn. You can also use them to put the spotlight on others who could inspire us to treat Canadian forests better.

Interview a non-profit working to keep forests green on your podcast, or for a post on your company blog. “Like” and retweet insights on forest best practices you see from those you follow or discover on your timeline. Subscribe to YouTube channels of those documenting reforestation efforts, and share your feedback and ideas in the comments.

Finally, keep the momentum of National Forest Week going by making sure conservation and protection is part of your journey to net zero. Knowing where you stand in terms of producing emissions today by calculating your carbon footprint can ensure your sustainability strategy will lead to a better future.

Every tree makes a positive difference to our planet. So can every Canadian business.

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