Final Cut: Canada leads in forest certification

Derek Nighbor
  |  
August 23, 2019

By Derek Nighbor – President and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada

Forestry has long been foundational in the history, economy, and culture of Canada. More recently, it has figured prominently in what is fast becoming a global “cri de coeur” for environmental leadership and action on climate change. This past December, Canada’s forest sector was validated at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24), which officially recognized the critical role that forest management plays in helping us achieve global climate change targets. Although not widely understood, Canada’s forest certification regime plays an important role in maintaining this global reputation for leadership and excellence.

When it comes to forest certification, Canada leads the world with an estimated 164 million hectares certified. This represents 70 per cent of Canada’s managed forest – or an area larger than the entire province of Quebec. Impressive numbers to be sure, but what does it really mean and why should anyone care?

Since Confederation, Canada’s forest industry has evolved and matured. We are active players in the economies of over 600 Canadian communities and represent 12 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing GDP. Notwithstanding shifting trade rules, growing protectionism, volatile markets, and some devastating fire seasons, Canada’s forest products sector has still managed to assert itself as a global leader in sustainable forest management. Our collective efforts have provided both economic and environmental benefits to Canadians for more than 100 years and we are proud of this record.

Canada is unique in that about 94 per cent of our managed forests are located on public lands. As a result, the forest industry in Canada has among the most rigorous frameworks in the world and must comply with hundreds of federal and provincial laws, policies, and regulations. Although forest management certification is a voluntary tool, it has been wholly embraced by Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) members. This is because it allows companies to demonstrate to partners and consumers that they go above and beyond Canada’s tough regulatory requirements. Independent forest certification provides a stamp of approval so that customers know they are buying products that come from forests managed to comprehensive environmental, social, and economic standards.

There are three independent certification programs available in Canada, all of which are endorsed by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. These include Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). These programs cover much more than harvesting practices as they also set requirements that ensure the social and economic well-being of local communities as well as transparency and inclusiveness in the decision making. Even in circumstances where stringent regulations are in place and where an organization’s practices are already aligned with such certification requirements, it remains a significant endeavor to document these practices, monitor their impacts and demonstrate in a robust way to independent auditors that all requirements are met. A certificate is issued only after a thorough review by a third-party auditor determines that long-term harvests are sustainable, there is no unauthorized or illegal logging, Indigenous rights are respected, wildlife habitat is preserved, and that soil and water quality is maintained.

In recent days, we have seen stories covered around the world that point to the critical role that tree planting and sustainable forest management plays in achieving global climate change targets. Canada’s forest products sector is in a unique position to be part of the solution. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, forests have an important role to play in the sequestration and storage of carbon in the soil, trees and other vegetation, as well as providing products that store carbon. Forestry is Canada’s original renewable industry. Through innovative practices and active forest management, the Canadian forestry workers will continue to work to regenerate important habitats, keep communities safe from wildfires, and increase carbon storage in the forest and in renewable products. Our commitment to delivering environmental, economic, and social benefits to Canadians for generations to come is certified.

-30-

Derek Nighbor is the President and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada.

For more information contact:
Kerry Patterson-Baker
Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs
Follow FPAC on Twitter: @FPAC_APFC
September 20, 2021
Canada’s Forest Sector Announces Awards of Excellence Recipients, Celebrating Its Best and Brightest
As National Forest Week is celebrated across the country, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is seizing the opportunity to announce the recipients of its annual Awards of Excellence program – which recognizes the outstanding men and women across Canada who have made exceptional contributions to the forest sector and to forestry communities.
Read This
September 20, 2021
PEI Senator Diane Griffin & Marc Joron of Timmins Honoured as Community Champions by Canada’s Forest Products Sector
Today, FPAC announced that Senator Diane Griffin and Marc Joron of EACOM Timber Corporation have been honoured with the Forest Community Champion Award.
Read This
September 20, 2021
Fabian Glowalla of Mercer Celgar Pulp in Castlegar Receives Innovation Award from Canada’s Forest Products Sector
Today, FPAC announced that Fabian Glowalla of Mercer Celgar Pulp in Castlegar, BC is the recipient of the 2021 Innovation Award.
Read This
September 20, 2021
Janet Lane of Dryden, Ontario & Marc Bédard of Montreal, Quebec Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award from Canada’s Forest Products Sector
Today, FPAC announced that Janet Lane of Domtar Corporation in Dryden, Ontario and Marc Bédard of Resolute Forest Products in Montreal are recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Read This
September 21, 2020
Lisa Raitt Honoured As Community Champion By Canada's Forest Products Sector
Forest Products Association of Canada recognizes former minister Lisa Raitt's leadership in the forestry sector with Forestry Community Champion award
Read This
November 13, 2019
The Search for Canada's Greenest Workforce
Canada's forest industry is a top employer and global leader in sustainability, forest management, clean technology and innovation
Read This
March 21, 2019
Standing Tall with Canada's Forest Workers on International Day of Forests
Forest Products Association of Canada celebrates forestry communities, workers and world leading forestry management for International Day of Forests
Read This
February 20, 2019
Opinion | Workforce Diversity - Canada's Forest Sector Branches Out
Forest Products Association of Canada embraces diversity and encourages women and indigenous to join the forestry workforce
Read This
September 5, 2021
Aurelia Jas: The Forbidden Site Prep Tool: FPAC 2021 Green Dream Internship Program
I got a set list of blocks that were to be sprayed, and I needed to walk them to ensure that all waterways had 40-meter buffer boundaries flagged off and check to make sure that all other ephemeral streams were either dried up or not flowing. The last thing we want is to get chemicals into a waterway!
Read This
September 5, 2021
Aurelia Jas: Summer Came and Went: FPAC 2021 Green Dream Internship Program
I was hired as a Woodlands intern with Weyerhaeuser Grande Prairie, which meant that I would be working within silviculture, operations, and planning in a split role. My summer was filled with all sorts of different jobs, such as boundary layout, block re-ribboning, drone flying, road maintenance, and many other jobs that continuously kept me on my toes.
Read This
September 4, 2021
Aurelia Jas: Drone Flights and Road Reclamation: FPAC 2021 Green Dream Internship Program
I’ve seen firsthand the effort that is taken to ensure that harvesting is done in the most sustainable way. Recent cut blocks are surrounded by multi-age stands, varying from 20 to 60 years old, ensuring that a large span of land is never cut at once. Having multi-age stands is important in ensuring that wildlife and biodiversity still have room to grow while we fulfill our wood needs.‍
Read This
September 3, 2021
Emma Schlosser: My Final Blog: FPAC 2021 Green Dream Internship Program
I wanted to use this blog to reflect on my summer and share some of my experiences. As you all know, this summer I worked at Alberta Newsprint Company, however, one thing I did not tell you in the beginning is the many different departments I worked in! So here is a fun little timeline from my summer:
Read This
August 11, 2021
Canada’s Forest Sector Strongly Supports National Adaptation Strategy
Canadian forestry welcomes the opportunity to do our part so that Canada’s National Adaptation Strategy sets clear targets and performance measures for action that will better protect Canadians and Canadian jobs from climate-related threats like drought, pest outbreaks, wildfires, and floods.
Read This
May 12, 2021
Canada’s Forest Sector Welcomes Federal Investments That Spur Innovation and Pave the Way to a Net-Zero Future
Earlier today, Canada’s Minister for Natural Resources, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, launched a call for proposals under the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program. Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes these federal investments to help advance Canada’s forest sector bio-economy and low-emission energy future, while creating and maintaining jobs in communities across the country.
Read This
April 22, 2021
Canada’s Forest Sector Welcomes Canada-US Collaboration on Green and Resilient Infrastructure
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) welcomes this cross-border collaboration and is excited about the opportunity it presents for sustainably-sourced and made Canadian wood, pulp and paper, and lower carbon forest bioproducts.
Read This
April 22, 2021
Canada’s Forest Products Sector Celebrates Earth Day – Everyday
As Canadians work together to rebuild our post-pandemic economy, Canada’s forest sector workers stand ready to do our part by taking care of our land and water, lowering carbon emissions, and getting more Canadians back to work.
Read This