Working with Communities & Contributing to Healthy Local Economies
Interfor builds value for communities by supporting a healthy economy and environment, and we do this through meaningful engagement and community support.
We engage with the public and communities impacted by our mills or harvesting operations. Each operation collects, records and promptly addresses any concerns or enquiries in a timely fashion. We also reach out more broadly to the public to promote the benefits of forestry and wood construction.
Our community support is driven by our company-wide community giving program supported by a divisional donation policy. As each Interfor division operates within its own region and has a unique relationship with its surrounding communities, mill managers are able to direct their own donations to best effect.
In addition to our community giving, we also run a formal scholarship program. Students whose parents or guardians work at Interfor can apply for funding to pursue post-secondary or training education.
2018 Achievements and Actions for Community Engagement
- We reached out to the community and water users of Upper Passmore prior to installing a bridge over a creek that is used for drinking water. We gathered community feedback, answered questions and ultimately responded to requests to maintain access for snowmobile use.
- We’ve taken part in the Christina Lake Stewardship Society for approximately 10 years, the past two years on the Board of Directors. Focusing on sound stewardship within the Christina Lake watershed, the society’s key 2018 initiatives included kokanee enumerations and spawning habitat restoration, prevention and mitigation measures targeting aquatic invasive species, as well as wildfire prevention and mitigation strategies.
- We meet semi-annually with Adams Lake residents to discuss issues such as noise abatement, visual impacts, and management of logs in the lake. In 2018, we changed the way we assemble and tow our logs to minimize escaped logs in the lake.
- Independent auditors also recognized us for good management of visual quality and recreational benefits along Adams Lake through cutblock design.
- As part of Interfor’s work in the Great Bear Rainforest, we continuously seek input from First Nations, the public and other organizations on the landscape reserve designs and adjust plans accordingly.
- We work with the Discovery Islands group, who are concerned about visual quality objectives, by sharing cutblock and road locations for review on a public website so their concerns can be included in our planning prior to harvesting.
- We support the Carihi Forestry program in Campbell River, a high school forestry program for students interested in working in the industry.
- We help fund Forestry Friendly Communities (FFC), an industry funded non-profit focused on building credibility, awareness, and a positive community connection to the benefits of the coastal forestry sector in BC. In 2018, FFC hosted the first ever Forestry Proud Day and awarded three forestry scholarships.
- We host regular mill tours in the US South as part of our community outreach program. In 2018, we hosted groups such as Putnam Country Sheriff Officers, students from the Perry Youth Leadership Class, local leaders from Emanuel County, teachers from the Georgia Teachers Workshop, and US Congressmen Jody Hice, Rick Allen and Samford Bishop.
- We contributed to the Georgia Forestry Foundation’s development of its Virtual Forest Tour of Georgia Forests which will be broadcast in schools across Georgia.
- We volunteered at South Carolina’s Wood Magic Forest Fair to teach fifth grade students about sustainable forestry and wood manufacturing.
2018 Achievements and Actions for Community Support
- In 2018, more than 170 community-based organizations across North America received a total of $390,000 of in-kind or financial support:
- The United Way of the Lower Mainland to support local agencies, governments and individuals who build healthy, caring, inclusive communities. Employee giving increased 68% in 2018. (Vancouver, BC)
- Habitat for Humanity – Vancouver North Island to support the building of affordable housing so families can build stability and independence through affordable homeownership. (BC Coastal Woodlands)
- Chase & District Lions Community Club to support the building of a water splash park for children in Chase. (Adams Lake, BC)
- Arrow Lakes ATV Club and Nakusp & Area Community Trail Society to maintain and restore trail networks, improve user safety, maintain proper drainage and protect aquatic habitats. (Castlegar, BC)
- Columbia and Western Rail Trail Society to improve drainage management on a section of the trail between Castlegar and Fife. (Grand Forks, BC)
- The Answers For Youth to provide support for local teens who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. (Port Angeles, WA)
- Effingham College and Career Academy to support students participating in industry internships and completing career relevant projects. (Meldrim, GA)
- Americus Fire Department to support the construction of a regional training facility for firefighters and first responders. (Preston, GA)
- Putnam County Primary Elementary School to provide fresh woodchips for their playground restoration project. (Eatonton, GA)
- Log a Load for Kids to raise funds to improve children’s health through treatment, education and research at Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. (US South Divisions)
- Monticello School District to support the building of a handicap accessible dock at the local lake. (Monticello, AR)
- We provided scholarships of $2,000 each for 25 aspiring students who plan to pursue post-secondary education or technical training. These are students whose parents or guardians work at Interfor.