Rick Holley, Chief Executive Officer of Plum Creek Timber Company, has won the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) President’s Award, for consistently showing leadership on behalf of working forests that support habitat and rural communities. Holley is known for his leadership on market transformation, sustainable communities and responsible forestry.
The President’s Award specifically recognizes how Holley is helping to move the conversation about working forests in ways that will ultimately benefit people around the world. Tall wood buildings, for example, with their carbon sequestration and related climate change benefits, are a focus for Plum Creek.
“We are pushing forward on the next generation of green buildings to help create the cities of the future. Wood’s inherent properties – as a sustainable, natural, and renewable resource – make it an excellent environmental choice for any new construction or renovation,” said Rick Holley, Plum Creek Timber CEO.
Holley is also championing the idea that many of wood’s positive attributes depend in large part on whether the forest resource is renewed.
“Only 10 percent of the world’s forests are certified so we are seeking to expand sustainable forest certification broadly around the world. SFI has already come a long way, and it would not have happened without the tremendous support and dedication of past leaders, staff, our industry, the NGO and conservation community, and our customers. You know, the term, ‘It takes a village,’ is really appropriate as it relates to the founding and evolution of the SFI standards,” Holley said.
Holley’s leadership has also helped make Plum Creek a model SFI Program Participant when it comes to conservation and community building.
SFI Program Participants must engage in forest research. Two recent Plum Creek projects include following innovative ways to help brook trout by improving stream habitats and building new mapping tools for identifying vernal pools—temporary pools of water that provide habitat for plants and animals.
A high-profile community project saw a team from Plum Creek help the Michigan SFI Implementation Committee work with The Greening of Detroit to improve Detroit’s urban forests and revitalize the city through tree planting projects. The projects are job opportunities for city kids and adult workforce trainees, which in turn support sustainable communities. The Greening of Detroit has helped place almost 80 percent of trainees in full-time jobs.
Under Holley’s leadership since 1994, Plum Creek has grown into one of the largest and most geographically diverse landowners in the nation. Holley has ensured that Plum Creek has long conducted its business with a strong commitment to the environment. The company’s sustainable forestry practices support this commitment. All of its forest ownership is certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standard. SFI Principles and Plum Creek’s manufacturing standards embed sustainability in the company’s activities in its working forests and in its manufacturing facilities.
“Rick Holley is an innovator and his support for tall wood buildings is a perfect example of his forward thinking. He was one of the early adopters of SFI and has served as our Chair. His support since the early 1990’s has helped make SFI a proof point for responsible forestry in the supply chain,” said Kathy Abusow, SFI Inc. President and CEO. “Rick’s enthusiasm and unwavering support for SFI is shared across Plum Creek. This award is just a small token of our deep appreciation for everything Rick does.”
Holley was presented with the SFI President’s Award for Leadership at the SFI 2015 Annual Conference.