McDonald’s, Mars, and Other Marketplace Brands to engage with family forest owners on sustainability

GreenBlue and the American Forest Foundation (AFF) today announced a new partnership to bring together America’s family forest owners and several of the most well-known marketplace brands, including Mars, Incorporated; McDonald’s; Avery Dennison; and Evergreen Packaging.

For the first time ever, both ends of the forest products supply chain will connect and take part in a dialogue to explore their respective needs and challenges relative to sustainable forest management. The dialogue, which kicks off this November and lead to a meeting in January, builds on GreenBlue’s Forest Products Working Group efforts to examine the role of forest certification to explore, in partnership with AFF, frameworks for providing assurance that wood from family woodlands is produced sustainably.

“We know that America’s family forests are a critical source in supplying the wood fiber for McDonald’s packaging,” said Townsend Bailey, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability at McDonald’s USA. “The GreenBlue/AFF partnership creates an opportunity to connect with family woodland owners and explore ways to assure and engage our customers around the sustainability of our products.”

“Our goal at Mars, Incorporated is to achieve a fully sustainable supply chain for all the pulp and paper-based packaging materials we use,” said Rachel Goldstein, Global Sustainability Director at Mars, Incorporated. “As demand for sustainably sourced products grows, we’re working with our suppliers to make this happen. We look forward to participating in the Sustainable Forest Management Summit so we can engage with family forest owners and drive meaningful collaboration.”

“AFF operates our country’s oldest and largest sustainable woodland program, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), showcasing its an impressive history of working with family forest owners to ensure their forests provide an incredible range of benefits such as wood, wildlife habitat and clean water,” said Nina Goodrich, GreenBlue’s Executive Director. “We are honored to partner with AFF to expand their work and be a part of connecting these two vital audiences in a dynamic value chain.”

The GreenBlue and AFF partnership is part of a new larger initiative launched by AFF this month, to help meet the growing and changing global market needs for sustainable wood supplies from family-owned forests, while protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat and other forest benefits. The initiative is currently in phase one gathering input and data from the forest products supply chain, from manufacturers to consumers, forest land owners themselves, and many others to identify priority areas and wood supply needs.

“Brand owners play a key role in the supply chain of wood products, as they are at the forefront of customers,” said Tom Martin, President of AFF. “This partnership with GreenBlue offers the potential to uncover new insights and help us increase our impact on ensuring family-owned forests continue to provide for all Americans.”

About American Forest Foundation: The American Forest Foundation (AFF) works on the ground with families, teachers and elected officials to promote stewardship and protect our nation’s forest heritage. A commitment to the next generation unites our nationwide network of forest owners and teachers working to keep our forests healthy and our children well-prepared for the future they will inherit. Visit to learn more.

American Tree Farm System: The American Tree Farm System® is a network of 82,000 family forest owners sustainably managing 24 million acres of forestland.It is the largest and oldest sustainable woodland system in the United States, internationally recognized, meeting strict third-party certification standards. Visit to learn more.

About GreenBlue: GreenBlue is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to the sustainable use of materials in society. Our mission is to promote the principles of sustainable materials management — use wisely, eliminate toxicity, and recover more. Through our projects, we achieve our goal by influencing the debate, enhancing supply chain collaboration, and creating action. For more information please visit and follow GreenBlue on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Forest Products Working Group: The Forest Products Working Group is a collaborative network of companies that rely on paper, wood, and other forest products. Our members pool their collective knowledge and resources to identify science-based solutions that work for business, people, and the forests. The Forest Products Working Group is a project of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

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