Have you ever seen these labels on lumber, paper, cardboard, or other wood products and wondered what they mean? Well, these small labels tell a big story about the forest our wood products come from.
Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) are all forest certifications found in Alberta. A certified forest has had all forestry operations in the area reviewed by third-party organizations (like those listed above) to ensure that sustainable forest management practices are being upheld.
In Alberta, there are over 23,000,000 hectares of certified forests, which is 60% of all public forests in the province! All managers of public forests must follow our government’s rigorous forest management regulations; so why would we still have so many certified forests? It is for you, a consumer of wood products! Forest management companies seek out forest certifications so when you go to buy paper, lumber, or other products you have the added confidence that your purchase is supporting the sustainable management of a renewable resource.
The exact requirements to certify differ from organization to organization. Collectively all organizations require that forest management meets all provincial laws and regulations, completion of annual audits, consultation with local communities, conservation of local biodiversity, and much more!
Next time you are buying wood products and you see these labels, you can feel good knowing your product came from a sustainable forest. To learn more about forest certification, please visit the Canadian Standards Association, Forest Stewardship Council, and Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s websites.