Forest management certification is a voluntary tool available to forestry organizations who want to demonstrate corporate responsibility by having their forest management planning and practices independently certified against a sustainable forest management standard. These standards set high thresholds that forest companies must meet – above and beyond Canada’s tough regulatory requirements.
The phenomenal growth of forest certification in Canada has been spurred on by a forest industry commitment to third-party certification. In 2002 the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) became the only national forest trade association in the world to require members to certify their operations to any of the three major, credible standards recognized in Canada. Four years later that goal was met. This commitment has been instrumental in spurring the phenomenal growth of forest certification in Canada, allowing the country to meet the growing customer demand for certified forest products.
- The three independent certification programs used in Canada – Canadian Standards Association (CSA), the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) – all set high thresholds above and beyond Canada’s tough regulatory requirements.
- Canada leads the world in third-party sustainable forest certification. As of 2019 end of year, 187 million hectares were certified to the three SFM certification programs in use in Canada.
- Just 11% of the world’s forests are independently certified, and 35% of these certified lands are in Canada. This means customers are much more likely to find certified products from Canada that meet their specific needs.
- Canada’s certified lands would cover an area the size of Germany, Spain and Sweden combined.
- About 70% of Canada’s certified lands are in the boreal region – it has three times more boreal forest certified than any other country.
- Canada is the only country in the world whose national trade association (FPAC) makes third-party verified sustainable forest certification a condition of membership. FPAC member companies – who are responsible for about half of forestry operations Canada – committed to certify all of their forestry operations in 2002, and by the end of 2006 were able to report success.