Turning Six

By Elizabeth Woodworth, Founder of Wood & Co. Consulting

Here we are, already at the end of January, and yet still at the starting line of 2023, full of energy, hope, and excitement as we look forward to another excellent year. Last year, my journal entry on New Years Day included a note about my hopes and expectations for the coming year. Of course, there were thoughts related to my family, with the happiness and well-being of my kids and husband front and center. But then I wrote about Wood & Co. I had hoped that we would continue to prosper.

Most importantly, I hoped the company would be an extraordinary workplace and that the team would be caring and thoughtful with our clients and each other. This, I can happily confirm, has come to pass. I am so very grateful that we continue to grow, and our team is one of the most caring, passionate, and fun teams I have ever been a part of.

In 2017, I took a leap of faith and launched Wood & Co. Consulting with a team of one: me. My optimism and faith in a future defined by sustainability have been rewarded countless times over. Our team has grown to include 20 incredible people, serving dozens of clients across hundreds of projects.

This success reflects our strong and enduring relationships with our clients and each other at Wood & Co. Each of us brings something different to complement the team. Still, we all share a dedication to exceeding client expectations and helping them move forward with their sustainability goals. This approach is the foundation of our success.

Practical environmentalism keeps us at the forefront of sustainability

It’s an approach that has allowed us and our clients the privilege of seeing our shared vision of sustainability adopted by an ever-growing audience. At Wood & Co., we describe our approach as “practical environmentalism.” It reflects our core belief that improving the health of our planet requires establishing common ground where conservationists and public and private interests can work together for shared goals.

ESG and addressing key sustainability challenges

As practical environmentalists, over the last six years, we have welcomed the growing importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors along with the necessity of embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Both ESG and DEI continue to offer us and our clients practical, step-by-step frameworks and ratings to help them on their sustainability journey. We are also deeply engaged in the ESG debate and were able to help clients see past critiques of ESG that emerged in 2022.

Project highlights from a productive year

Some of our 2022 project highlights include being the lead organization in designing and delivering the inaugural Women’s Forest Congress in Minneapolis, October 17–20, and all related communications. It attracted nearly 500 participants, in‑person and virtually, from 38 US states, three Canadian provinces, and eight other countries. We performed a similar role for the US Industrial Pellet Association’s USIPA 2022 Exporting Pellets Conference, October 2–4.

We translated complex academic research and reports into clear, easily understandable copy for a broad audience on behalf of the world’s largest producer of sustainable wood pellets. We also benchmarked conservation organizations for potential partnerships with this client.

We developed strategic content for a timber investment management organization that acquires, manages, and sells timberland as an investment vehicle for pension funds, college endowments, foundations, insurance companies, and high-net-worth individual investors.

We developed a suite of internal education and marketing materials for a leading forest products company focused on land stewardship to use in their plants across the US southeast. And we partnered closely with a US government grant program to provide success storytelling through beautifully crafted documents.

Strategic thought partnerships show the way forward

In 2022, we also continued to focus on being a strategic thought partner for more of our clients as they navigate complex challenges. As a strategic thought partner, we offer our advice in open-ended discussions while improving everybody’s thinking and thought processes—and we are never afraid to speak truth to power. Ideally, engaging in thought partnership with Wood & Co. should feel like a conversation between peers.

2023 and our journey of continuous improvement

Looking back on the last six years makes us feel proud of what we’ve accomplished for our clients. But to remain successful, we will always be on a journey of continuous improvement. We will continue to refine our client service and project management processes. Greater efficiency and the ability to use metrics to verify the quality of our results are also at the top of our agenda for 2023.

We hope you share our enthusiasm for what this new year will bring. We wish our clients continued success and thank them for trusting us and giving us the opportunity to help them achieve their goals. We also look forward to establishing new client relationships focused on shared goals and values and delivering on the promise of sustainability.

May 2023 bring you and your loved ones joy, new adventures, and good fortune.

Happy New Year!