The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) released a statement Monday that promotes the expansion of forest certification across the supply chain. The statement marked a significant step towards the growing trend of recognizing all credible forest certification programs as a proof point for responsible forestry.
The WBCSD Forest Solutions Group, led by 26 of the world’s leading companies along the forest products value chain responsible for nearly 40 percent of annual global forest, paper and packaging sales, said its members would work with stakeholders to spread sustainable forest management; support and promote the expansion of forest certification; set 2020 targets to increase the use of certification when sourcing forest products and fiber; and grow markets for certified forest products. The WBCSD statement specifically “recognizes and supports the assurance of management performance and fiber flows provided by the following independent forest certification and associated chain-of-custody systems: the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®).”
“The WBCSD Forest Solutions Group’s leadership statement calls on all stakeholders to join forces to innovate and grow markets for sustainably-produced forest products. Approaches to expand, reach and impact of existing certification standards should better address the needs of small forest owners, community forestry, indigenous peoples and agroforestry operators,” said James Griffiths, Managing Director at the WBCSD.
“SFI applauds the decision made by these global market leaders to support responsible forest management,” said SFI President and CEO Kathy Abusow, who participated in the WBCSD Forest Solutions Group meeting that discussed the new statement. “As the world’s largest single forest certification standard, SFI looks forward to continuing to work with WBCSD to encourage landowners and brand owners to promote responsible forest management around the world.”
WBCSD’s initiative is the latest in a recent trend of major announcements endorsing an inclusive approach to forest certification programs. On October 25th, the U.S. General Services Administration recommended that federal agencies have the option to use either Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or Green Globes when choosing a third-party green building certification system, likely expanding the U.S. government’s use of products from responsibly managed forests certified to SFI, the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the Canadian Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CSA) and PEFC (which endorses SFI).
Earlier this year, the respected sustainability nonprofit GreenBlue, representing more than 200 member companies, issued its first “Guidelines for Sustainable Paper Products” stating that SFI and FSC both “set robust, verifiable standards for sustainable forestry.” And The Sustainability Consortium, a global, multi-stakeholder group representing more than 100 organizations working to build a scientific foundation to improve consumer product sustainability, has issued key performance indicators on six different wood and paper products that each recognizes SFI under the wood sourcing certification key performance indicator.
Learn more at http://www.sfiprogram.org/ and http://sfiprogram.org/Buy-SFI/.