The Regional Wood Products Consortium – a collaboration between Sustainable Forest Futures (SFF) and the wood products manufacturing industry in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and northern New York – will conduct a series of specialized one day innovation workshops focused on Enhancing Economic Competitiveness through Going Green.

The wood products industry has at times found itself in a defensive position on "green" issues. Yet wood has the advantage of being a renewable resource that can be a more sustainable option than competing materials. Moreover, there are many activities that wood products companies engage in or could engage in that are considered green. This workshop will focus on the unique opportunities that wood products manufacturers have to significantly reduce costs while also capitalizing on the green consciousness at work in the marketplace.

This workshop is geared to leaders of small and medium sized wood products companies and will be repeated in five locations throughout the four-state region on the following dates:

September 27, 2011 – Augusta, ME (register)
September 28, 2011 – Concord, NH (register)
October 4, 2011 – Randolph Center, VT (register)
October 5, 2011 – Glens Falls, NY (register)
October 6, 2011 – Utica, NY (register)

Leading national wood industry experts and local specialists will be on hand to address a range of subjects including green marketing, minimizing production materials waste, energy efficiency, opportunities and challenges of chain-of-custody certification and other topics. Among the speakers will be Jeff Howe and Kathryn Fernholz of Dovetail Partners, Inc. - a Minneapolis-based think-tank for issues affecting the forest products industry and Philip Araman, a widely known expert on primary and secondary wood manufacturing improvement methods from the USDA Forest Service’s Southern Research Station at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.
Workshop participants from the Consortium’s region will be eligible to receive specialized follow-up assistance including, but not limited to, a pool of grant funds that SFF has to help cover a company’s cost, as may be applicable, in pursuing activities stemming from the workshop.
All workshops are co-sponsored by SFF’s trade association partners including the Wood Products Manufacturers Association (WPMA), Maine Wood Products Association (MWPA), New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA), Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association (VWMA), and Empire State Forest Products Association (ESFPA).

Any wood products company in the region is eligible to participate in any of the workshop sites at a special subsidized registration fee of only $25 per person.

Funding support for this workshop and other activities of the Regional Wood Products Consortium is provided, in part, by grants from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund, the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the Northeast Utilities Foundation and the Wood Education and Resource Center, Northeastern Area State & Private Forestry, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

SOURCE: Sustainable Forest Futures

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