One of Canada’s largest forest products companies, Tembec Inc., agreed in late January to work with World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF) on certifying all of its forest operations according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. The company controls more than 13 million hectares (50,000 square miles) across the country, an area larger than the state of Pennsylvania.
(By way of comparison, this land area is 68% as large as all FSC-certified forest land in the world today—19 million hectares!) The company has committed to obtaining FSC certification for all of the forest it manages by 2005. A portion of the company’s forest operations at their Huntsville, Ontario mill is already FSC-certified.
According to Steven Price, Director of the North American Program for WWF, this is the first time a Canadian company has agreed to certify all of its operations. WWF worked with the company extensively to secure this pledge, and the organization may even help Tembec market certified wood.
Price is quick to point out, however, that it’s only a commitment at this point. “Nobody can guarantee that they will succeed,” he said. Price calls the 3- to 5-year time frame “challenging but realistic.” It fits in very well with the target WWF set of getting 25% of Canada-U.S. forest trade to be FSC-certified by 2005.