Saturday, February 18, 2006

Closing the Loop on Woodlot Certification

  • Closing the Loop on Woodlot Certification

We normally get a bag of flyers in our mailbox Friday night or Saturday mornings. There is the normal bunch of flyers from Home Hardware, Leons Furniture, Home Depot, Sears etc. I always take a minute or two to go through each of the flyers to see if there is anything of remote interest on sale. I admit it that I am a flyer junky. Neighbours at our former home in suburbia did the right thing and reduced pollution by refusing flyers – or more aptly put, junk mail – in their mailboxs. I could never do that.

I came across something interesting in today’s Home Depot flyer. As part of its marketing strategy Home Depot is marketing ECO Options that cater to clients who are “Looking for ways to make better environmental choices when they renovate their home”. On page eight, Home Depot is selling a Maple Veneer Core Panel 4’ x 8’ x ¾”with the FSC trademark or Forestry Stewardship Council A.C.
The ad then includes a descriptive green bar with the following text:

FSC  Certification helps sustain our forests  The Forest Stewardship council is an international non-profit organization that supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.  When you see the FSC symbol, you know that sustainable forest practices have been followed

So how does this close the loop?

You will see from a posting on this blog on Thursday September 1, 2005 that I had Scott Davis, Certification Coordinator of the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (EOMF), Forest Certification Program visit and inspect my woodlot. As a result we had our woodlot certified and we now adhere to the certification criteria and entered the woodlot certification program. We also joined the Eastern Ontario Certified Forest Owners (EOCFO) organisation formed by individuals in Eastern Ontario who had been seeking, and in 2003 obtained, FSC group forest certification for their woodlots.
What does this mean?

FSC certification program requires that:

  • Wood is not harvested faster than it grows;
  • Water, wildlife and forest ecosystems are protected;
  • Standards are developed through a stakeholder process, not controlled by industry;
  • Standards measure on-the-ground results, not just policies, programs and plans; and
  • Standards, performance and recommendations are made public.

See for full details.

So now we have come full circle. Our good management practices will now be recognised not only because it is the right thing to do in its own right but also in a more tangible means where the measures are recognised and valued in the marketplace. Also this will now let the non-woodlot owner and client for wood products participate in and promote the program.

I would say it is a good thing.


Anonymous said...

you must be able to afford the luxury of the .. is..ought.. world.
Most timber products are sourced through private and licensed lands. Any thoughts on how to sustain increasing demands for housing and supply of resource while pursuing certification in working forests?

Woodlot_Manager said...

In Canada back in the 40s and 50s much of the arable land has been denuded of forest because of harvesting and to favour agriculture. Today much of the agricultural land has become abandoned but is not necessarily forested or managed. To answer your question, I am thinking that by encouraging good woodlot management practices on these lots we will likely improve the supply of wood for building materials while doing our part at providing sustainable forestry, while promoting carbon sequestration.