Responsible Wood took to the archives as it celebrates the 5th anniversary of this most prestigious prize…

Timberbiz – 14/12/2017, HOBART

Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries and chair Dr Hans Drielsma AM present the 2017 Richard Station Memorial Award for Excellence in Forest Management to Lou Coutts, external relations manager for HVP Plantations.

External relations manager for HVP Plantations Lou Coutts has won the 2017 Richard Stanton Memorial Award for Excellence in Forest Management. Source: Responsible Wood.

The award and trophy, presented in Hobart during the annual general meeting of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd (now re-branded Responsible Wood), recognises the life of a man who was devoted to the forest industry in Australia and internationally. Mr Stanton was former CEO of AFS Ltd.

Ms Coutts is moving plantation forestry into new ground for stakeholder management, public access to plantation land, interactive websites, on-line inductions and social media.

All of these actions have greatly improved HVP’s performance in stakeholder management and community relations, which has been recognised as part of the company’s certification processes.

Her work has contributed significantly to the achievement of sustainable forest management in the context of community relations and a social-license to operate. It provides an example of bringing a new approach to stakeholder management, supporting HVP Plantations’ certification to AS4708, the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forest Management.

Ms Coutts undertook her external relations role three years ago, moving HVP to a better position with its public profile and social performance, while also completing an MBA from Charles Sturt University.

Some of her key improvements Ms Coutts has managed include developing a web-based public access system; changing the branding of HVP; administering Alpine Community Plantations Inc., a joint venture between the Alpine Shire, HVP Plantations and Bright Community Groups, for managing plantation access including international downhill cycling events; and training HVP and contractor staff in community relations, dealing with conflict and being more open and transparent.

Lou Coutts was also presented with a bursary to assist her in future work in sustainable forest management. 

Nominations for the 2019 Richard Stanton Memorial Trophy close COB, October 4th 2019. For more information about the Richard Stanton Memorial Trophy please visit the Responsible Wood website.