October 20, 2023 – Brisbane, Australia
Responsible Wood, a leading supporter of sustainable forestry and responsible wood sourcing in Australia, recently held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the year 2022-2023. The event showcased the organisation’s commitment to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification. This year’s AGM, a hybrid event, was attended in person at the Responsible Wood office and online by Responsible Wood members from around the country.
The AGM serves as a central forum to review past performance, discuss financial matters, and reflect on important decisions about the future. It promotes transparency, accountability, and engagement, enabling leadership to communicate progress and vision while allowing stakeholders to play a pivotal role in shaping Responsible Wood’s direction and ensuring good governance.
A key highlight of the AGM each year is the release of the Annual Review of Activities, which covers the period from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023. The review document provides a comprehensive overview of Responsible Wood’s achievements and initiatives in various areas, including governance, outreach, marketing, and communications activities.
Key Highlights from the Annual Review of Activities:
- Responsible Wood continued to strengthen its governance, strategy, and standards processes. This includes accreditation as a Standards Development Organisation by Standards Australia as well as endorsement of AS/NZS 4708-2021 by PEFC International. This endorsement confirms that the Responsible Wood Certification Scheme (RWCS) is underpinned by rigorous auditing, and accreditation processes that uphold the highest environmental, social and cultural standards when it comes to assessing sustainable forestry practices.
- Throughout the year, Responsible Wood engaged with many stakeholders in Australia and New Zealand to promote responsible wood sourcing and raise awareness about sustainable forestry practices and the importance of certification.
- Responsible Wood maintained an active presence in the media and online platforms to promote the RWCS and case studies from members. They launched various campaigns to educate consumers and businesses about the benefits of choosing wood products from certified sources, emphasizing the positive impact on the environment and local communities.
- Responsible Wood achieved a significant milestone with the launch of Field Trips, designed to showcase certificate holders and demystify the perception that forestry equates to deforestation. These educational excursions provide a first-hand look into responsible wood sourcing, allowing participants to witness sustainable forestry practices in action. By engaging stakeholders, communities, and individuals in these field trips, Responsible Wood is not only dispelling misconceptions but also fostering a deeper understanding of how sustainable forestry positively impacts the environment and local economies. These field trips will no doubt become a crucial tool in promoting the RWCS and highlighting the stark contrast between sustainable forestry and deforestation, further reinforcing the organisation’s commitment to principles of sustainability.
The AGM also featured guest speakers who shared valuable insights. Fabiano Ximenes from the NSW Department of Primary Industries presented the latest findings from his forest carbon research, highlighting the importance of sustainable forestry in mitigating climate change. Additionally, PEFC Asia Pacific Manager, Richard Laity, spoke about the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) and the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II, underscoring the global significance of responsible wood sourcing in today’s global markets.
At the AGM National Marketing Manager for AKD, Christine Briggs, was voted by members to join the Responsible Wood Board, bringing a wealth of industry experience with senior roles in sales, and marketing as well as holding a non-executive directorship role on the board of Forest & Wood Products Australia.
“We are proud of the progress we’ve made over the past year. Our commitment to promoting sustainable forestry practices and responsible wood sourcing through our globally recognised standards remains strong.”
“We thank the valuable contributions at our AGM from experts like Fabiano Ximenes and the insights from Richard Laity. We look forward to another year of growth and impact in the sustainable forestry sector.”
Live from the boardroom: in-person AGM attendees at the Responsible Wood office
During the AGM, Responsible Wood Chairperson, Dr. Tony Bartlett, expressed his gratitude, stating,
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to our dedicated staff, fellow directors, certificate holders, and our valued members. Without their continued support and commitment, Responsible Wood could not operate as we do. It’s through our collective efforts that we continue to make strides in promoting sustainable forestry and the responsible sourcing of forest products. Together, we are making a meaningful impact on our industry, the environment and regional forestry communities.”
Dr. Bartlett’s remarks underscored the importance of collaboration and the contributions of all stakeholders to Responsible Wood’s vision and mission. You can read more about the vision and mission of the new 2023 Responsible Wood Strategy here.
Responsible Wood’s AGM brought together a diverse group of stakeholders committed to the principles of sustainable forest management, setting the stage for continued progress in the years ahead.
For more information on Responsible Wood’s initiatives and to access the Annual Review of Activities, please click here.