Wood Business

Virtual Event
Women in Forestry – 2021
March 9, 2021 at 11:00am EST

Diversity and Inclusion in Green Jobs: The Promise of Behavioural Design

Speaker: Kathy Abusow, President & CEO, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
Diversity and Inclusion in Green Jobs: The Promise of Behavioural Design


Kathy Abusow is President and CEO of SFI Inc., a sustainability leader that stands for future forests. She has held this role since 2007, when Sustainable Forestry Initiative® became a fully independent, non-profit organization. Since joining SFI, Kathy has greatly expanded SFI’s network to include the forest sector, brand owners, conservation groups, resource professionals, landowners, educators, local communities, Indigenous peoples, governments, and universities.

Since Kathy joined SFI, forests certified to the SFI® Forest Management Standard have grown from 140 million acres/56 million hectares to more than a 370 million acres/150 million hectares across public and private lands from Canada’s Boreal to the US South.Under Kathy’s leadership, SFI has become much more than a set of forestry standards, and is now a strong community that engages in conservation projects, youth education and community building initiatives.

Kathy launched several signature programs and a number of notable memorandums of understanding including:

•Acquiring Project Learning Tree, an award-winning environmental education program that increases youth understanding of the environment.

•Launching PLT Canada, a not-for-profit that will grow future forest and conservation leaders through environmental education.

•The SFI Conservation and Community Grants Program launched in 2010, which has, together with leveraged funds from partners, invested $7.2 million in forest research in collaboration with conservation and community groups.

•The SFI Forest Partners Program, established in 2012 with founding partners Meredith, National Geographic Society, Macmillan and Pearson, works to increase SFI forest management, fiber sourcing and chain-of-custody certification throughout the supply chain.

•MOUs with Habitat for Humanity International and Habitat for Humanity Canada that are focused on building sustainable housing, and supporting communities and families. SFI has helped support Habitat’s Indigenous Housing Program, and recently brought a diverse team of women volunteers together to support an Indigenous family in the Ottawa area. The build was dubbed the “Women in Wood Build.”

•An MOU between SFI and the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business that helps to offer a brighter future for Aboriginal communities. The agreement supports the Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification program. It promotes corporate social responsibility and Aboriginal business and employment opportunities, especially for youth, in forest communities.Kathy is a strong voice for gender equality.

This commitment is embodied in the gender balance of SFI’s team, Kathy’s work as a mentor to other women in the forestry sector, and her role as a founding member of Nature Canada’s Women for Nature Initiative. Kathy has led, moderated, and spoken at well-respected international forums including the Greenbuild International Conference “Women in Green Power breakfast in DC”, the Economist’s World Forest Summit in Stockholm, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Fortune Brainstorm Green, and at TEDxWilmington where she gave a talk called Be a Forest Hugger.

Kathy Abusow
President and CEO
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI)

For more information visit our website: pltcanada.org/en/plt-canadas-green-jobs-employer-series/