Istanbul, 4 November 2013– In an unprecedented show of support from the private sector for forest certification, 26 of the world’s leading companies along the forest products value chain released a leadership statement today, committing to significantly scale up sustainable forest management.
These 26 members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Forest Solutions Group (FSG) are responsible for nearly 40% of annual global forest, paper and packaging sales, and are aware that the business sector plays a major role in transforming forest challenges into forest-based opportunities and solutions.
The FSG’s Leadership Statement on the Value and Future of Forest Certification and accompanying technical brief, issued at the WBCSD’s Council Week in Istanbul,recognizesthat reducing forest loss and degradation is a global societal priority requiring immediate and concerted action.
“With today’s statement and commitments, the FSG aims to demonstrate leadership in addressing the world’s need for increased sustainable management of natural forests and plantations, as well as wiser use and reuse of forest products,” said FSG co-chair José Luciano Penido, Chairman of Brazil-based Fibria.
In order to ensure that the supply of independently-verified sustainable wood and other forest products continues to increase to meet growing demand, all 26 FSG member companies commit to:
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;
Grow markets for certified forest products.
“To meet increasing global demand, we need to expand forest management practices in ways that maintain their growth and vitality, while protecting ecosystems, biodiversity, and livelihoods,”said FSG co-chair Riikka Joukio, Senior Vice President of Finland-based Metsä Group.
Forest certification is a voluntary, market-focused mechanism, which supports a broad range of social, economic and environmental benefits associated with sustainable forest management, yet according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), only 10% of the world’s forests are independently certified.
“The FSG’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 ofsmall forest owners, community forestry, indigenous peoples and agroforestry operators,” said James Griffiths, Managing Director at the WBCSD.
Today’s leadership statement was endorsed by all 26 FSG member companies.
FSG core members:
Ahlstrom, Altri, APRIL, Empresas CMPC, Fibria, Grupo Portucel Soporcel, International Paper, Metsä Group, Mondi Group, MWV, SCA, SCG Paper, StoraEnso, Suzano Pulp and Paper, UPM, Weyerhaeuser
FSG associate members:
Andritz, AkzoNobel, Evonik Industries, Kimberly-Clark, Metso, Proctor & Gamble, Pöyry, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SC Johnson and Unilever