Wednesday, November 24, 2010

EcoLabels & Certifications: Wood Forestry Certifications

Today's installment of Deborah Fuller's Eco-Labels and Certifications series focuses on Wood Forestry Certifications.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) –Forestry, Wood and Chain of Custody

The Forest Stewardship Council is a nonprofit international organization committed to the conservation, restoration, and protection of the world's working forests through standards setting and accreditation.

The term "independently certified forest products" refers to those products originating in a forest that an independent third party has certified as well-managed and sustainable. Forest certification validates on-the-ground operations employing the best management practices at a specific forest to ensure the long-term health of the total forest ecosystem.

Today, the only ratings available that meet the criteria established by the Certified Forest Products Council are those of the Forest Stewardship Council. FSC standards were developed by representatives of conservation groups, the timber industry, economic development organizations and the general public.

A forestry operation that meets FSC standards protects forest ecosystems, water quality, wildlife habitats and local communities. To ensure the integrity of the certification, the wood and fiber from certified forests are tracked through the commercial chain from logging sites to retailers and to the end user (COC).

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits MRc7 –Certified Wood
FSC is a non profit organization
www.fsc.org

Rainforest Alliance Certification

The Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit organization with more than two decades of experience developing environmental and social standards for the sustainable management of natural resources while helping companies and organizations of all sizes adopt sustainable practices.
Central to the Rainforest Alliance's sustainable forestry efforts is independent third-party certification, which assures consumers that the wood products they purchase come from well-managed forests. With the launch of SmartWood in 1989, the Rainforest Alliance developed the world's first global forestry certification program and the first to rely on market forces to conserve forests. The Rainforest Alliance is one of the founders of the Forest Stewardship Council , and is the largest FSC-accredited certifier. The Rainforest Alliance has certified the greatest number of community and indigenous operations to FSC standards.

The Rainforest Alliance Certified seal ensures that goods and services were produced in compliance with strict guidelines protecting the environment, wildlife, workers, and local communities.

The Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit organization
www.rainforest-alliance.org

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) on-product label provides customers and end users of wood and paper products an assurance that products are produced in accordance with their environmental expectations. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) program states it has the most comprehensive approach to wood supply monitoring of any forest certification program in the world and can help provide this assurance with several options for chain of custody and on-product labels. SFI program participants practice sustainable forestry on all the lands they manage. They also influence millions of additional acres through the training of loggers and foresters in best management practices and landowner outreach programs.

SFI is an industry organization
www.sfiprogram.org

CPA/EPP Certification for Engineered Wood
The Composite Panel Association (CPA) launched an environmentally preferable product (EPP) certification program to reduce the use of virgin timber in engineered wood products. Based on the principles of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing program, CPA’sspecification will ensure that EPP-certified products contain 100% recycled or recovered wood fiber. The specifications include sawmill waste in this “recycled or recovered” content. “If we didn’t use sawmill waste, there wouldn’t be an industry,” CPA also conducts product testing and third-party certification programs, offering the first ANSI accredited Environmentally Preferable Product (EPP) certification program.The EPP Program certifies composite panel products that are 100 percent recycled and low emitting. Downstream manufacturers who use EPPcertified substrates can also market their products as environmentally preferable through this program.

CPA is a non profit organization

http://www.pbmdf.com/

American Tree Farm System (ATFS)
Our mission -To promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry.

The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS), a program of the American Forest Foundation's Center for Family Forests, is committed to sustaining forests, watershed and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship. Currently, ATFS has certified 24 million acres of privately owned forestland and 90,473 family forest owners who are committed to excellence in forest stewardship, in 46 states. Tree Farmers share a unique commitment to protect wildlife habitat and watersheds, to conserve soil and to provide recreation for their communities while producing wood for America.

ATFS is a non-profit organization
www.treefarmsystem.org

Canadian Standards Associate (CSA) -Wood
CANADIAN STANDARDS ASSOCIATION (CSA) is a not-for-profit membership-based association serving industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in Canada and the global marketplace. A leading developer of standards and codes, we provide products, services and training that help enhance public safety and health, improve the quality of life, facilitate trade and preserve the environment.

CSA is a non-profit organization
www.csa.ca

Check back soon for the next installment: Furniture Certifications

3 comments:

Shera said...

I was really looking forward to this series of certification article, but I feel like they are leaving a lot of unanswered questions. Each certification seems to be followed by merely a description from their websites. We're not really getting to peer behind the curtain fo any of these. For instance, I know that either the FSC or the SFI is better than the other, but have trouble remembering which is which. Your article does nothing to help see through the "green-washing" that you started this whole series talking about. I would encourage you and hope for better research into why we should care about each of these certifications and provide actual knowledge of their practices.

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