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Certification: from forest management to market acceptance

By Brenda Bouw | October 5, 2015

The sustainability performance of the global forest product industry is improving, driven in large part by an increase in certification to third-party standards that require a commitment to responsible forest management and include assessments by independent certification bodies.

The latest report from The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) shows that industry members in 24 countries manage a total of 302 million hectares. Since 2000, they have increased the amount of hectares certified to a third-party sustainable forest management certification system by 41 percentage points, to 52% of their wood supply. Canada is doing especially well with 161 million hectares of certified forest managed by ICFPA industry members and non-members, which is more than 40% of the global total of certified forests.

Forest certification is an independent assessment to confirm that a company follows sustainable management practices. It provides assurance that a forest company is operating legally, sustainably and in compliance with world-recognized standards for sustainable forest management.

In May 2015, senior executives from the major forestry certification bodies came together at PwC’s 28th Annual Global Forest and Paper Industry Conference to discuss how they’re evolving to meet changing stakeholder expectations.

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