Buy forest-friendly - Forest Stewardship Council

Page - December 1, 2006
Greenpeace believes that individual and corporate consumers have the right and responsibility to buy wood and wood-based products which do not contribute to environmental and social degradation. Replacements already exist for virtually every form of wood product from ancient forests, from building construction to product packaging.

Sustainably harvested wood bearing the Forest Stewardship Council logo.

You have the ability to help save our ancient forests. If you are buying timber, or wood products, and suspect it has come from an ancient forest please do not buy it. If you are going to buy timber that may have come from an ancient forest, please get proof from the retailer that it is Forest Stewardship Council certified timber before buying.

How do you know if it's forest-friendly? The only way to ensure that wood products from the Paradise Forests, the Amazon and other ancient forests are coming from legal and well-managed forests is to demand all products come from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests. Insist the product has an FSC label.

If FSC timber is not available please choose plantation wood such as NZ grown eucalyptus, cypresses, mahogany from Fiji, or rubberwood from Asia.

Ecological and socially responsible forest management can, and is, being practiced worldwide. However, it is the exception rather than the rule and ancient forests continue to be at risk from accelerating rates of destructive and illegal logging.

Strong public demand and pressure from non-governmental organisations, combined with real commitments from corporate buyers to purchase products only from FSC certified forests, is one solution to help stop ancient forest destruction and promote ecologically and socially responsible management of the world's forests.

What is the FSC?

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, non-profit association founded in 1993 through the efforts of more than one hundred participants representing economic, social, indigenous and environmental interests from around the world.

The FSC is a scheme that issues certificates for well-managed forests and was created to provide the means for corporate buyers and the public to identify products coming from responsiblly managed forests, with the aim to create the economic incentives for wider application in the market place.

Ecologically responsible forest management, such as that required by the FSC, seeks to ensure that the forest ecosystem is not damaged and only low volumes of trees that can be sustained by the forest are extracted. The impacts on the plant and animal life in the forest from this method of logging must be minimal.

FSC certification means that the forest has been independently inspected and evaluated for compliance with local laws, respect for indigenous and traditional people's rights, the health, safety and rights of forest workers, and the provision of a wide range of social benefits.

Members of the FSC

The FSC has grown rapidly since its inception and there are now FSC endorsed certifications and working groups in all major forest production regions.

Its members include some large important players such as Sweden's Assi Doman (the worlds largest private landowner), Home Depot and B&Q (the largest do-it-yourself chains in the US and UK respectively), as well as many smaller companies, community forestry groups, indigenous peoples organisations, unions and environmental organisations.

Greenpeace is a founding member of the FSC and is active in its development at both the international, national and regional levels.

When you buy wood and it's from ancient forests - whether it's building timber, furniture or musical instruments - buy forest friendly, or don't buy it.