SUSSEX, NB: James K. (JK) Irving today planted the company’s one billionth tree since 1957. He was joined by sons Jim and Robert – co Chief Executive Officers of J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI). One billion trees planted is a national record in Canada for a private company. Over 400 employees and retirees from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Maine attended the official tree planting and unveiling of the commemorative rock that was followed by a BBQ celebration.
| From left to right: Jim (JD) Irving, JK Irving, and Robert K. Irving.
The JDI tree planting program had small beginnings with 3000 trees planted in Black Brook, New Brunswick in 1957. In 1958 the company started the tree nursery in Juniper, N.B. Originally the goal was to produce one million trees. Eleven years later, the tree planting program had grown to over four million seedlings planted in 1968. In 1986, K.C. Irving planted the 200 millionth tree.
The forests owned and managed by JDI today will absorb 92 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 50 years – equal to 350,000 cars off the road per year for the next 50 years.
| From left to right: JK Irving, Robert K. Irving, and Jim (JD) Irving.
When the tree planting program began in 1957 the company had two sawmills and a pulp mill. Today, over 20 million trees a year are planted and there are over 4600 direct employees in Canada and the US operating 10 sawmills and 1.5 million tonnes per year coming out of the pulp, paper and tissue mills. The company is one of a handful left in North America today that sustains a value chain from the seedling in the forest to the tissue products on the store shelf.
“I want to thank everyone – past and present who played a part in achieving this great milestone. It has been a very rewarding journey to see these trees planted,” said JK Irving, Chairman of J.D. Irving, Limited. “From the very beginning we’ve always seen caring for the forest as an important responsibility. This commitment goes back generations and continues today.”
“On behalf of my brother Robert and myself, we want to thank our father for his leadership and support over his past 70 years in the forest products business,” said son Jim (JD) Irving. “The timberlands are the foundation for new growth of jobs and capital investment to expand and modernize our facilities to compete. We are not just growing trees, we’re growing opportunities for great people. We are committed to continuing what my father started. And with the help of everyone here today we’re on the move towards planting the 2nd billionth tree.”
All of the lands owned and managed by J.D. Irving, Limited are environmentally certified through independent audits under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) in Canada and US as well as the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC® C041515) in Maine. In 2017, the company was honoured with the SFI® Leadership in Conservation Award for North America.
Mary Keith, Vice President Communications
J.D. Irving, Limited
(506) 632-5122, (506) 650-8209