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Mercer Launches ‘Growing Forests – Growing A Future’ Program

Mercer announced the launch of a program supporting forest owners in Germany, called “Growing Forests – Growing A Future.” Mercer Holz, the wood purchasing arm of Mercer, is committed to partnering with forest owners in Germany to sustain the longevity of their forests.

Over the next few years, in a concrete step of solidarity, Mercer will provide participating forest owners across Germany with a careful selection of seedlings to help replenish their forests. This is one of the first company-sponsored large-scale tree planting endeavors within the German wood products industry.

The program is a step towards replacing and regenerating that which has been lost from the bark beetle and other natural disasters that have affected forests. A collaborative effort, Growing Forests – Growing A Future also looks to address perceptions of forestry at a larger scale.

“This is not a recent issue: already, for a few decades, foresters and forest owners in Germany have been working to replace the predominantly single variety forests with mixed variety, but climate change is catching us at our heels. We are now at tipping point of being too late to preserve the longevity and health of our forests for future generations. The time for action is now. It is a joint responsibility and a shared joy for all who benefit: So we need to work together to shape our forests for our tomorrows. Future generations will determine how forests will ultimately be used, but we must provide them with forests that offers them sustainable, comprehensive and diverse benefits, protection and recreation,” says Martin Stöhr, Managing Director, Mercer Holz.

Philipp Freiherr von Oldershausen, one of the participating forest owners, says, “As a forester myself, I’ve seen the damage first-hand. Our forests and the forests of our clients have suffered, particularly in the last couple of years. We welcome Mercer’s initiative because it shows a clear, long-term commitment from Mercer to continue partnering with forest owners, and to support us with regrowing our forests. I hope this initiative will increase awareness of the challenges the German forests face.”

The first tree-planting event in a series throughout the program will be held in late spring this year. Along with Stöhr and some of his team, Mercer has invited partnering forest owners, local dignitaries, and selected media to attend the launch in Ost-Harz, Saxony-Anhalt. A recap, photos and progress will be available on the Growing Forests – Growing A Future website.

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