Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced today that the Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, certified Blackwater River and Tate’s Hell State Forests, covering 413,000 acres, through one of the world’s most recognized, independent, third-party forest management certification standards, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). “We are proud of our efforts to ensure that the land and resources entrusted to the Florida Forest Service are managed responsibly and conscientiously. Thanks to certification programs, such as SFI, the public can remain confident that our state forests are managed in line with some of the highest standards in the nation and will remain healthy and productive for generations to come,” stated Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam.
Office Depot, Inc. today announced that it was recently named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, North America for the tenth year in a row. “Our inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for a decade in North America is a testament of our long-term commitment to corporate sustainability,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, senior director of sustainability for Office Depot. “We do this by advancing social accountability guidelines for workers in factories around the world, launching award-winning community programs through the Office Depot Foundation, and growing our diverse and green product sales.”
UPM and the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) have been developing a method for assessing ecosystem services derived alongside the production of wood-based products. This pilot study focused on the environmental impacts resulting from the growth of trees used for the production of one tonne of pulp. In this study, the carbon sink effect, water protection and the sustainability of native forest species were analysed in detail. The study confirmed that the forest area from where pulpwood is sourced yields multiple benefits besides just wood raw material. The study examined the amount of wood required for the production of one tonne of softwood pulp at UPM in Finland, as well as the time required for the trees to grow. The trees purify over eight million litres of water and absorb over 4,000 kg of carbon dioxide during their lifetime.
“As we welcome India to the PEFC alliance, we can take this time to celebrate reaching the important milestone of 40 PEFC national members,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International, as India’s Network for Certification Conservation of Forests (NCCF) joined PEFC last month. “We would like to use this opportunity to thank all of our supporters that have enabled PEFC to outgrow our European roots and become the world's leading forest certification system and to reflect on our history.” It was back in 1999, when national organizations from eleven countries came together to establish PEFC, responding to the specific requirements of small- and family forest owners in Europe. This was swiftly followed one year later with the endorsement of the first national forest certification systems, enabling forest owners and managers in Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden to certify their responsible forest management practices.
Nine large U.S. companies on Wednesday committed themselves to achieving a major sustainability goal — and three of them are retailers. Walmart, Starbucks and Nike are among the firms joining RE100, a global initiative led by The Climate Group to engage, support and showcase influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity. Other firms joining the campaign include Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Salesforce, Steelcase, Voya Financial. The commitment to use 100% renewable energy is not a new one for Walmart.
“Sustainability continues to define the way we conduct our business and interact with customers, colleagues, shareholders, suppliers and the communities where we operate,” said Antoine Fady, CEO Flint Group. “Our sustainable vision, strategic objectives and core values underpinned by our Mission and Guiding Principles are closely integrated in all of our policies, procedures, processes and operations that continue to make us the company we are today. He continues, “At Flint Group we believe that applying this commitment and approach to sustainability is simply smart business practice – a fundamental driver to long-term shareholder value and the delivery of a vibrant, successful business. As companies along the packaging and graphic arts supply chains increasingly embed sustainable philosophies and practices into their businesses, they can rely on Flint Group to be a strong link in that sustainability chain.”
Over the past 20 years, Södra has taken a systematic approach to its nature conservation work. These efforts have resulted in voluntarily protected areas with high conservation values and a production forest with growing conservation values. At the same time, we are seeing increased growth in forests, with a larger wood volume - in other words, forests where production and conservation values go hand in hand. As a result of the company's long-term nature conservation work, the areas with the highest conservation values are now protected. Our members have chosen to certify forest holdings covering 23,000 forest estates. They have also agreed to obtain a Green Forest Management Plan, which requires forest owners to set aside at least 5 percent of their forest area for nature conservation. A total of 8 percent of the forest area (140,000 hectares) has now been set aside for nature conservation purposes, equivalent to more than 200,000 football fields.
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) announced today an exciting new partnership for future forests. The two organizations have established a memorandum of mutual support that promotes forest management for the benefit of the nation’s forests and wildlife. “Every year, millions of people enjoy recreational opportunities in forests managed to meet SFI standards,” said NWTF Chief Conservation Officer Becky Humphries. “If we hope to achieve the conservation goals of the NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, partnerships like this one with SFI are critical.”
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is celebrating the international recognition for the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA) at the World Forest Congress now going on in Durban, South Africa. An interactive side event called From Conflict to Collaboration featured a huge 8 by 11-metre floor map of Canada’s boreal forest detailing everything from caribou habitat to the rural communities that rely on the forest sector. Panel members at the event included Mark Hubert, the Vice President of Environmental Leadership at FPAC and Éric Hébert-Daly of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. They talked about the global relevance of the CBFA, the world’s largest conservation agreement, which integrates both economic and environmental values.
A recent study by researchers at Yale University revealed that there are more than 3 trillion trees now growing on the planet, seven times more than scientists previously thought. Using a combination of satellite imagery, forest inventories, and supercomputer technologies, the international team of researchers was able to map tree populations worldwide at the square-kilometer level. Their results, published in the journal Nature, provide the most comprehensive assessment of tree populations ever produced and offer new insights into a class of organism that helps shape most terrestrial biomes.
With the expiration of the Russian National Forest Certification Scheme on 31st August 2015, PEFC International advises that all certificates issued against the Russian Scheme are no longer recognized by PEFC. PEFC limits the validity of endorsements of national forest certification systems to five years. National systems are required to revise their respective standards in multi-stakeholder processes to become eligible for re-assessment and potential re-endorsement. This allows for continuous improvement of standards through the integration of new scientific research, experience and best practices. Equally important is that it encourages ongoing social dialogue among stakeholders, thereby enhancing mutual understanding, support and further development of the concept of sustainable forest management at national level.
The Finnish Forest Certification Scheme has become the first ever system to achieve PEFC endorsement for the fourth time. This confirms that Finland continues to meet PEFC’s globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks and ensures that Finnish certified forest owners continue to benefit from the global acceptance of PEFC. “For us the next step is to organize training for organizations, contractors, forest owners and all other stakeholders involved in implementing the revised PEFC requirements in Finnish forestry,” highlighted Auvo Kaivola, Secretary General of PEFC Finland. “This will begin in October as we travel the country holding meeting with PEFC-certified organizations.”