Business

Weyerhaeuser eyes future Company talks of adaptation at annual meeting

FEDERAL WAY - Seven years into its second century, Weyerhaeuser Co. intends to face what Chairman, President and CEO Steve Rogel calls "unrelenting change in our industry."

That industry now extends from the forests of trees, which fostered the original company, to the forest floor, where grasses growing today might one day provide cellulose to make energy for the internal combustion engine.

Rogel spoke Thursday to about 650 shareholders and employees at the company's annual meeting held at Weyerhaeuser's Federal Way headquarters.

"Every year, I've said that the latest changes were greater than the year before, and every year, the people of Weyerhaeuser rise to conquer those challenges," he said.

He spoke of the transaction that shed a division of the company to create Domtar Inc., which leads North America in the production of white paper. He specifically addressed environmental concerns, explaining how the company has "responded to the challenge of climate change with a commitment to cut our companywide greenhouse emissions by 40 percent" by 2020.

He chronicled the expansion of a "green building" ethic in the real estate business, and a "Vision Forestry" philosophy in timberlands management.

"We will not stand still, now or ever," he said.

Armed officers from the Washington State Patrol and Federal Way Police joined a private security force to monitor the activities of demonstrators outside the meeting who were protesting company policy. There were no major confrontations.

Federal Way Police spokeswoman Stacy Flores reported the arrest of one protester, who was cited for trespassing and released.

At the beginning of the meeting, Rogel urged the audience to "please be considerate."

It was.

Speakers on issues due for a shareholder vote were polite and generally kept to a time limit.

Of those issues, shareholders voted as expected to elect a slate of directors and appoint auditors. A proposal to broaden the scrutiny of political contributions was defeated, and shareholders passed a measure to advise the board on extending voting power to a simple majority of those who own company stock, even though Rogel had told the meeting that the measure was "not in the best interest of all shareholders."

  Comments