Success for us is not just what we achieve, but how we achieve it.
Over the past year we have celebrated new partnerships, announced some new goals, and had the privilege of mentoring the next generation of sustainable forest stewards.
Enjoy some of the reflections we share from the past year and have a safe and happy holiday season!
Committed to Safety
Safety is our first priority. Our safety program encompasses technology innovation and implementation, and safety leadership. Our goal at the end of the day is to ensure that everyone arrives home safe.
- We hosted our second annual Safety and Environmental Leadership Awards, recognizing the outstanding effort and achievement of our contractors. TimberWest works with an exceptional group of contractors who coordinate and manage close to 1,000 people who are out in the woods every day. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the experience and capability our contractors, and their staff, bring to the job. In fact, many of the best ideas on how to improve efficiencies and safety have come from our contractors working on the ground. The collaboration between TimberWest and our contractors helps to maintain a strong, healthy, competitive coastal forest industry.
- We partnered with BC Forestry Innovation Investment to tell a video story about the use of Drones and LiDAR in forest planning. LiDAR is now being used for forest research to more accurately examine everything from the height and diameter of trees to ground terrain evaluation and plot-level wood volume estimates.
Our Environmental Leadership is demonstrated through our partnerships in conservation, and our focus to adopt best practices in land management and sustainable forestry. We understand the importance of managing our forests for today and for future generations. We are actively involved with numerous wildlife organizations, habitat enhancement groups, technical committees and research groups.
- We held a tremendously successful Earth Day Clean-up in partnership with the Regional District of Nanaimo and the Nanaimo Mountain Bike Club. The community Open House and Earth Day Clean-Up Event at Doumont Trails rallied more than 80 volunteers who helped to clear the land of 5360 KG (5.6 tonnes) of illegally dumped garbage, household supplies, building material, and garden waste.
- In partnership with the Siddoo Family, we donated an 8.4-hectare park in the Cowichan Valley. Drs. Jagdis K. and Sarjit K. Siddoo Park, is a Conservation Covenant to guide future park use jointly held by the Cowichan Land Trust and the Nanaimo Area Land Trust.
- We published our second annual 2017 Sustainability Progress Report that sets our goals for 2018 and demonstrates our progress on important sustainability measures. As well, we produced and published a set of five animated video shorts to help tell our story!
- Throughout 2018, we hosted several community tours, donated thousands of seedlings to community events, including a wonderful event hosted at the BC Discovery Centre in partnership with the Clement Centre Society supporting #CommunityInclusionDay and led invasive species educational sessions and removal events. During National Forest Week, we also contributed over 1,500 seedlings to various school groups and organizations.
- We announced our pledge to become carbon neutral over the next 10 years, and took the significant step in the process by measuring a total carbon footprint. We have been recognized as the first forest company to receive an organizational certification from the Carbon Trust that goes beyond just the measure of a carbon footprint from operations. We are the first forestry company to include the emissions associated with its supply chain energy use, the distribution of products to customers and long-term carbon storage.
Partnering with First Nations
We have worked actively over many decades to build collaborative, respectful working relationships with many First Nation groups, and continually work to deepen and strengthen these connections.
- This year we partnered with the Royal BC Museum to extend the First Nation Cultural Art Showcase program by offering an immersive First Nation art experience during the month of July. Held right outside of the museum, the public had the opportunity to engage with and learn more about their stories directly from the participating artists. This was followed by free public exhibition in October called Reclaimed: Culture and Life where the artists featured their beautiful art work. The artists were: brothers Dave Jacobson and Jonathan Jacobson of Tsaxis First Nation in Fort Rupert, Tom Hunt Jr. of Wei-Wai-Kum First Nation in Campbell River, Toni Frank of Shishalh First Nation in Sechelt, and the Good Family from Snuneymux First Nation in Nanaimo. Their works are representative of the kwakwaka’wakw and Coast Salish Indigenous language groups. Watch the profile videos of each of the artist.
- We were pleased to donate a pole to a reconciliation project led by much-loved artists brothers Tom and Perry LaFortune. Between July and October, the artists carved the roughly seven and a half metre (25 feet) long piece of timber into a finished pole. Together with the LaFortune brothers, the Ministry of Health selected the pole’s theme, “Crossing Cultures and Healing”. The Ministry raised the pole at its Victoria headquarters as a reflection and reminder of the Ministry’s belief in supporting reconciliation.
- We partnered with SFI, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, K’omox First Nation and Qualicum First Nation to announce the pilot SFI Small-Scale Forest Management Module for Indigenous Peoples, Families, and Communities. K’ó moks and Qualicum First Nations will be the first communities to pilot the SFI. We are pleased to provide our support and expertise on forest certification and auditing systems
- TimberWest helped to expand opportunities for First Nation students looking to pursue post-secondary and post-graduate studies in forestry. In partnership with the University of British Columbia (UBC) Faculty of Forestry, TimberWest provided a first of its kind $100,000 endowment for indigenous students pursuing graduate studies in forestry. We are thrilled to support UBC in its objective to engage and inspire Indigenous students to become the next generation leaders in forestry stewardship. We also announced a brand new $50,000 post-secondary scholarship for Indigenous students enrolled in forest management studies, with the TimberWest Indigenous Forestry Education Award created through the Indspire Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships and Awards
We proudly support local initiatives across our communities where we live, work and play. We are also committed to providing public access to our lands to responsible individuals and organizations that respect the environment, and the safety of everyone accessing our lands.
- This year we had eight summer students dive into forest management, gaining hands-on experience in the forest industry. Benefitting from an exchange of knowledge and valuable professional experience, students’ responsibilities were as varied as B.C.’s coastal biodiversity. From workshops in climate change to overseeing drone flights and monitoring artificial bear dens, TimberWest encourages participation in a variety of tasks. The mentorship and knowledge exchange were invaluable and the adventures abundant. Read about their experience here.
- The TimberWest Photo Contest entered its second year with great success! Thank you to the hundreds of people who participated and shared their favourite camping memories! Congratulations to the 2018 winners. Please join us again next summer for your chance to win two weeks of free camping at any of our several campsite locations across Vancouver Island.
- In both 2018 and 2019, we continued our partnership with The Great Trail through a $200,000 donation to support the work towards the completion of nearly nine kilometres of Rail with Trail projects in the Chemainus and Saltair areas. This trail will serve as a recreational legacy, promoting safe and healthy recreation that unifies and connects communities and people across the Island, the Province, and the Country. Once completed, this project will create a safer experience for pedestrians and cyclists.