Forest certification, also referred to as “green” certification, is a way to demonstrate a comittment to responsible forest management by following sustainable forest management practices. The forest certification movement is several decades old, and has maintained its position of interest in not only our northern hardwood operating regions, but nationally and globally as well. Many forest certification participants credit certification with providing marketing and financial advantages. Showing your commitment to sustainable forestry management is great way to promote your product as quality, healthy, valuable timber. FORECON, Inc., can help you practice sustainable forestry by managing your forest to meet your present needs without compromising the future of your forest. Our firm has a long history of working with forest certification on both a local and regional level.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Certification
SFI Inc. is “an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) program. Across Canada and the United States, more than 240 million acres (nearly 100 million hectares) are certified to the SFI forest management standard, the largest single forest standard in the world.
The SFI program’s unique fiber sourcing requirements promote responsible forest management on all suppliers’ lands. SFI chain-of-custody (COC) certification tracks the percentage of fiber from certified forests, certified sourcing and post-consumer recycled content. SFI on-product labels identify both certified sourcing and COC claims to help consumers make responsible purchasing decisions. SFI Inc. is governed by a three-chamber board of directors representing environmental, social and economic sectors equally.” Source: SFI website
The SFI program was launched in 1994 as one of the U.S. forest sector’s contributions to the vision of sustainable development established by the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Its original principles and implementation guidelines began in 1995, and it evolved as the first SFI national standard backed by third-party audits in 1998. It has been one of the most popular standards-based certification bodies for forest products among the US Timber Industry since inception.
For additional information, call us or visit www.sfiprogram.org
AFF’s Tree Farm Certification
Sustaining forest, watersheds, and health habitats through the power of private stewardship.
The American Tree Farm System (ATFS), now sponsored by the American Forest Foundation (AFF), has been implementing a form of forest certification on participant lands since 1941. Participants are required to meet specific criteria and must pass a regular inspection by a qualified Tree Farm inspector. The benefits to the landowner include their recognition in the community as a responsible steward of their forestland and the peace of mind that comes from having an outside third party inspect and verify the quality of the management on their lands measured against a written standard. Committed to protecting watersheds and wildlife habitat, conserving soil and at the same time producing quality timber resources, make tree farmers a precious asset. Our firm has been an active participant in the AFF’s Tree Farm program for many years as Tree Farm inspectors and managers.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. They enable businesses and consumers to make informed choices about the forest products they buy, and create “positive change” by engaging the power of market dynamics. Their members include some of the world’s leading environmental NGOs (WWF and Greenpeace), businesses (Tetra Pak and Mondi PLC) and social organizations (the National Aboriginal Forestry Association of Canada) , as well as forest owners and managers, processing companies and campaigners, and individuals. FSC has a wide spectrum of stakeholders involved in its program oversight. These “diverse voices define best practices for forestry that addresses social and environmental issues. The membership consensus sets the FSC Principles and Criteria – the highest standards of forest management which are environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.” Source: FSC Website
Independent FSC-accredited Certification Bodies (“certifiers”) verify that all FSC-certified forests conform to the requirements contained within an FSC forest management standard. Certifiers are independent of FSC and the companies they are auditing. This third-party verification is crucial to the integrity of the FSC system. Forest Management certification provides assurance that forests are being managed to the highest environmental and social standards, and finally, Chain-of-Custody certification provides assurance that products bearing the FSC label directly support responsible forest management.
FSC is the preeminent sustainability standard on a world-wide basis at this point in time. For additional information, call us or visit www.fsc.org