Summit – committed to good outcomes

Summit - committed to good outcomes
Summit Forests currently has a team of 28, along with a contractor workforce of up to 180.

With an established focus on sustainability, Summit Forests New Zealand Ltd is well placed to meet new environmental legislative requirements for plantation forestry.
On the 1st of May this year, the new National Standards of Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) entered into New Zealand law.
Key objectives of the legislation are to maintain or improve the environmental outcomes associated with plantation forestry activities nationally and increase certainty and efficiency in the management of plantation forestry activities.
Managing 42,000 hectares of forestry in Northland and Gisborne and harvesting between 550,000 and 600,000 tonne of logs each year, Summit Forests, has been a certified member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) since 2013.
The principles set down by FSC include compliance with laws, workers rights and employment conditions, indigenous peoples’ rights, community relations, benefits from the forests, environmental values and impacts, management planning, monitoring and assessment, high conservation values, and implementation and management activities.
Summit Forests’ General Manager Henare Walker points out that the company is audited by FSC annually to ensure that it is meeting the requirement of the principles in terms of how the business operates.
“FSC does cover off a lot of bases, and environmental impacts is a key one. This already required us to operate at a high standard therefore it has been quite seamless transitioning into the new NES-PF regime.”
Henare explains that Summit Forests’ primary focus is to provide a stable business environment for the local industry and its infrastructure such as the workforce and the domestic market.
“As we see it, a strong local economy, relationships and the community in the region are key to our economic value and the long term sustainability of our business.
“A strong sustainable domestic processing market is also key, particularly in the north as there is a large demand up there for wood flow and a large majority of our wood fl ow is sold into that market.”
Summit Forests New Zealand Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation, a large Japanese based multinational corporate that operates in a wide range of industries in 65 countries with a history of its wider group dating back 400 years.
Summit - committed to good outcomes
Established in 2012, Summit Forests secured its first major asset, the Juken New Zealand owned Northern Estate of 36,000ha in Northland, in March 2013 and established its export function out of Marsden Point.
Over the last five years the business has had strong growth in both forest activities and the export of thirrd party logs which has seen these operations extend to Gisborne, Napier and New Plymouth ports.
Summit Forests currently has a team of 28, along with a contractor workforce of up to 180.

Summit - committed to good outcomes
Summit Forests NZ Ltd manages 42,000 hectares of forestry in Northland and Gisborne. Lake Gem, above, is an example of the company’s commitment to bio-doversity and looking after the environment.

Henare says Summit Forests’ view to sustainably managing its forests is to provide continuity of work to the company’s staff and contractors and to provide the contracting workforce with a positive and supportive work environment – with a particular focus on good communication.
“We have monthly contractor meetings to share ideas and thoughts with a specific focus on health and safety and the environment. “Those meetings help to foster that team culture and working together towards achieving it and I think that both sides value them.”
Summit - committed to good outcomes
Summit Forests is focused on providing its workers and contractors with a positive and supportive work environment.

Summit Forests’ commitment to its contractor workforce extends to employing an in-house trainer/assessor who has responsibility for training and up-skilling.
“We’ve also placed an emphasis on having representation at regional level such as Wood Councils, RMA working groups, regional health and safety working groups and sub groups just so that everybody is communicating and sharing ideas around the industry,” Henare says. “We also have representation on the NZ Forest Owners Association.”
With forest protection a key part of sustainability, Summit Forests has invested in fire fighting equipment, operating its own trained fire crews, support crews, fire ponds and fire breaks.
As a responsible forest owner, Summit Forests has an extensive replanting programme ensuring the continuation of a sustainable estate.
Henare says he enjoys the culture and focus of the parent company and what they are looking to do in New Zealand in respect to sustainability and giving back to the community.
“In general we think that NES-PF is a good thing for the industry and it’s going to help raise the standard of forestry operations across the board.”
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