Blog

Mar 07 2018

Celebrating 10 Years: What's in our name?

By KC Eisenberg

Our customers have called us by many monikers over the last ten years. Sometimes we are simply Sustainable. Other times we hear creative combinations of the three words that make up our company name: Northwest Sustainable, Sustainable Woods Northwest, and so on.

We agree, it's not the world's most descriptive or memorable name for a lumber company, but the story behind our name explains our roots, and offers insight into what makes our company, Sustainable Northwest Wood, such a special member of the wood products industry.

We were founded in 2008 by Ryan Temple, who was working at the local non-profit Sustainable Northwest as the Director of a network of regional sawmills. The network saw an opportunity, and a need, for a lumberyard to stock a wide selection of sustainable and locally harvested wood products, something that no other lumber company would commit to at that time.

FSC lumber was hard to find at most lumberyards, and local species from community based mills nearly impossible to find. This made it exceedingly difficult for environmentally-minded builders, architects, and homeowners to use these responsible wood products.

So, using their knowledge of the Northwestern lumber industry, Sustainable Northwest stepped in to fill this gap and make responsible, local lumber easier and more economical for everyone to use.
While still operating under the umbrella of the non-profit, we opened Sustainable Northwest Wood in 2008. Our first lumber sale rolled out the door just as the Great Recession was leading to an economic contraction nationwide that had an especially significant effect on the building and lumber industries. But nonetheless, you can't keep a good idea down, and Sustainable Northwest Wood has in the years since become a successful and enduring business.

We are still owned by Sustainable Northwest, our parent non-profit, and proceeds from our business go to support and strengthen their work in energy, forestry, and water conservation projects through the region.
These days, our product offering has increased greatly over what we had when we first opened our doors. From our Northwest Solid Wood Surfaces to our Restoration Juniper landscaping timbers, our products are a unique, and memorable, showcase of the sustainable abundance of the Pacific Northwest.