Joe Lawson wins the Dr. Sharon Haines Memorial Award for Innovation and Leadership in Sustainability

By |2018-02-26T15:41:56-04:00September 17th, 2014|Categories: News Release|

September 17, 2014

MONTREAL, Quebec — Certification plays a central role in sustainable forestry thanks to pioneers like Joe Lawson. Today, he received the Dr. Sharon Haines Memorial Award for Innovation and Leadership in Sustainability for his commitment to supporting the mission of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI) since its inception in 1995.

The award, created by SFI and sustainability leader, International Paper, celebrates Dr. Sharon Haines, who was International Paper’s Director of the Office of Sustainability before her sudden passing in 2007. The award pays tribute to Sharon’s legacy by recognizing individuals or teams who have demonstrated a forward-­‐thinking approach to sustainability and fostering collaboration.

“I thought the world of Sharon. She was a personal friend as well as a colleague. She was viewed as both a leader and mentor to those of us who had the pleasure of working with her. Certification plays such an important role in sustainable forestry today in large measure because of her expertise and determination. It’s humbling for me to receive this award in Sharon’s name,” Lawson said.

“International Paper is pleased to support this annual award honoring Sharon Haines. She was part of the IP family for more than 30 years. Her ground-­‐breaking work brought together different groups in the forest sector and directly laid the foundation for International Paper’s global sustainability efforts we practice today,” said Teri Shanahan, International Paper’s vice president of Sustainability. “International Paper continues Sharon’s belief and practice of working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders to promote sustainability and we are proud to recognize individuals who share that passion.”

Lawson’s experience features leadership positions on several national and international sustainability initiatives. He has made significant contributions to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, The Forest Dialogue, SFI Inc., the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, and the American Tree Farm System.

“Joe’s forward-­‐thinking approach to sustainability over his 30-­‐year career can be seen in today’s ongoing collaboration between the forest products sector, environmental organizations and brandowners. He has also been a tireless leader at SFI, and we are so pleased to present him with this award,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

Lawson retired in 2013 as the Global Director of Sustainable Forestry for MeadWestvaco Corporation (MWV). MWV operates in more than 30 countries and promotes responsible fiber sourcing throughout its supply chain. Since retiring, Lawson’s commitment to certification and sustainable forestry has not waned. He currently serves on PEFC International’s Board of Directors and is Chairman of a multi-­‐ stakeholder advisory committee focused on improving sustainable forestry practices in Sumatra and Kalimantan Indonesia.



About International Paper

International Paper (NYSE: IP) is a global leader in packaging and paper with manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia and North Africa. Its businesses include industrial and consumer packaging and uncoated papers. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., the company employs approximately 65,000 people and is strategically located in more than 24 countries serving customers worldwide. International Paper net sales for 2013 were $29 billion. For more information about International Paper, its products and stewardship efforts, visit internationalpaper.com

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Thomas J. Ryan

About Dr. Sharon G.Haines

Dr. Sharon G. Haines, who died on Aug. 10, 2007, was the first director of International Paper’s Office of Sustainability. Her successes included developing many of the company’s innovative partnerships with conservation groups, leading the development of its sustainable forestry programs, championing projects to protect endangered species across company land, helping to establish sustainable forestry policy issues at the national and international levels, and mentoring colleagues to help them excel professionally. Haines was selected as a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters and received an American Forest & Paper Association 2005 Conservation Award. She was a member of the National Commission on the Science of Sustainable Forestry and worked with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.