Major Third Party Certification in the Us and Canada
Canada is a world leader in the development and implementation of independent, third party forest certification programs. Canadian manufacturers want their customers to have proof that the products meet the sustainability standards.
International Standard Organization (ISO)
- Evaluates environmental management systems.
Certification Fact - Most of B.C.'s major forest companies have certified ISO 14001 international environmental standards.
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
- Evaluates forest practices and performance using internationally recognized criteria that are adapted to local conditions through a transparent public participation process.
- Includes a product label and a chain of custody.
- The Council of European Paper Industries has ranked the CSA as among the best in the world and the American Forest and Paper Association recognizes it as the functional equivalent of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
Certification Fact - B.C. has 5.3 million hectares (13.1 million acres) certified under the Canadian Standards Association.
Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)
- Evaluates forest practices using a tough standard of environmental principles, objectives, performance measures and core indicators.
- Guided by an independent sustainable forest board.
- Includes a product label.
Certification Fact - B.C. has 9.5 million hectares (23.5 million acres) certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, developed by the American Forest and Paper Association.
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- Evaluates forest practices using 10 guiding principles adapted to local conditions using regional standards.
- Includes a product label and a chain of custody.
Certification Fact - A regional standard for B.C. has been developed but has not yet been approved by FSC International for use. As a result, few FSC certifications have occurred to date. However, 89,130 hectares (220,237 acres) in B.C. have been certified by individual FSC certifiers operating with their own checklists.
What is Forest Product Certification?
- Evaluation of forest practices by an independent, third-party.
- Protects environmental values - biodiversity, soil and water quality.
- Can include a label and a chain of custody .
Forest companies operating in BC must meet or exceed the high forest management standards demanded by government. In addition, they also have a high level of third-party certification, which gives customers added assurance that they are practising responsible and sustainable forest management.
The forests are assessed according to rigorous, measurable and scientific criteria that include ensuring protection of biodiversity and preserving soil and water quality.
Label and Chain of Custody
Forest products can include a label indicating they have been approved as environmentally-friendly and a chain-of-custody system, which tracks a wood product from a tree in the forest through all the steps of processing and production until it reaches the consumer.
Comparing the CSA and FSC Standards
Consult the table below for a side by side comparison of the Canadian Standards Association and the Forest Stewardship Council.
| ||Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Mississauga, Ont. ||Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Oaxaca, Mexico |
|Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Standard || |
- CAN/CSA Z809 (1996)
- Approved as national standard of Canada by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
- FSC 1995
- Approved by the FSC Board.
|Standards Development Process || |
- Multi-stakeholder CSA SFM technical committee, Canada-wide public consultation, input, and review process.
- Accountable to the SCC.
- FSC national or regional working groups, public review and input process.
- Accountable to its own membership base.
|Application || |
- Canada - Defined Forest Area
- International - Defined Forest Area
|Performance-Based Standard || |
- Canada's Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM) SFM criteria and critical elements set the minimum performance level.
- Adapted to local conditions through a public participation process.
- Criteria are consistent with internationally recognized Montreal & Helsinki Process criteria for the sustainable management of boreal and temperate forests.
- Performance requirements focus on specific measurable indicators that vary across regions and countries, i.e. harvesting methods, chemical use, forest conservation etc.
|Key Forest Management Elements of Standard ||ISO 14001 System Elements
- Conservation of biological diversity
- Maintenance and enhancement of forest ecosystem condition
- Conservation of soil and water resources
- Forest ecosystem contributions to global ecological cycles
- Multiple benefits to society
- Accepting society's responsibility for sustainable development
These criteria are further refined using 21 critical elements to be adapted to the defined forest area.
|10 Guiding Principles:
- Compliance with laws and FSC Principles
- Tenure and use rights and responsibilities
- Indigenous people rights
- Community relations and workers' rights
- Benefits from the forest
- Environmental Impact
- Management plan
- Monitoring and assessment
- Maintenance of high conservation value forests
|Requirements for Compliance with Legislation ||Includes a commitment to meet or exceed all legislation, regulatory standards, policies, and interpretation requirements. ||Requires compliance with all legislation, regulations and policies. |
|Local public input required? ||Extensive, on-going public process - identifying local values, goals, indicators and objectives. Public consultation may be required based on the scale of the operations. ||Audit Scope 3rd party audits of the system and performance. 3rd party audits of management planning and performance. |