For all of our projects we only use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified lumber and we are proud to congratulate this fine organization on its exciting accomplishment of surpassing 100 million acres of responsibly managed forest in the US and Canada.    While all of our clients and many of our colleagues are aware that we use FSC lumber in all of our projects, many don’t know what that exactly means. 

How do you know its good wood?

The mission of the FSC is to, “promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.” (FSC)

The FSC employs forest managers who ensure that forests are properly logged and responsibly replenished. FSC certification offers forest managers rewards for managing their forests the FSC way – following the highest social and environmental criteria there are. In some instances rewards can be in the form of price premiums. But increasingly, FSC certification is rewarded with improved access to environmentally sensitive markets. Also, more and more governments and leading businesses specify FSC certified materials in their purchasing programs.

To earn FSC certification and the right to use the FSC label, an organization must first adapt its management and operations to conform to all applicable FSC requirements. Principle 1 of the FSC Principles and Criteria requires forest managers to comply with all applicable laws and international treaties which must be independently verified by an FSC accredited certification bodies.

FSC also has strict requirements to control the non-certified material in FSC-Mixed Sources products. The non-certified material must comply with FSC Controlled Wood standards which ensures the material comes from forests that are not harvested illegally. This must also be independently verified before it is mixed with certified material.

Only after an application process and payment of member fees can a lumber supplier become a distributor of FSC certified products. One of our favorite local FSC certified companies that we frequently use is Sterritt Lumber.

While FSC is certainly happy to reach this milestone, they see more growth in the near future. Globally, the acreage of FSC-certified forests has tripled since 2004, to more than 281 million acres in 82 countries.

“The core driver of this growth is a shared commitment among landowners, manufacturers, retailers and consumers to conserve forest ecosystems and safeguard the rights of native peoples and local communities,” says Corey Brinkema, President of FSC-US. “And while this is a major achievement, it remains but one shared step in doing the right thing for forests, people and wildlife.” (Sustainablebusiness.com)

Here at BGB we hope they can sustain this growth and look forward to continuing business with FSC certified suppliers in the future.

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