The Austrian, Canadian, UK and Uruguayan national forest certification systems have successfully achieved PEFC re-endorsement, confirming they continue to meet our globally recognized Sustainability Benchmarks. Combined, these four systems account for over 40 million hectares of sustainably managed forest. For both Austria and the UK, this is the fourth time these systems have achieved PEFC endorsement; it is the third time for Canada and the second for Uruguay. Click Read More below for additional information.
2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for FSC – in the United States, and around the world.
The pace of climate change aggravated events is increasing, with the huge and unprecedented fires in Australia only the latest catastrophe to capture the public eye. While such disasters are always tragic, they also educate people about the critical role of forests and the importance of responsible forest management. The climate crisis is generating ever-greater interest in FSC as a climate solution, which has prompted our newly ramped-up efforts to measure and communicate the impacts of FSC – including the commission of studies to quantify carbon storage additionality in FSC-certified forests.
As we think about FSC’s impact, perhaps nothing matters more than our standard, which translates directly to environmental and social improvements on the ground wherever it is applied. In 2019 a diverse group of volunteer technical experts and our policy team made substantive progress to update our National Forest Stewardship Standard, to align it with global FSC requirements and maximize its current and future relevance to all stakeholders. 2020 will be an important year in this effort, as we publish the first draft of an updated standard and solicit broad input through a first consultation.
On the marketing front, 2020 will bring continued growth of buildwithfsc.com, our digital platform for the construction industry. With investment from FSC International (thank you!), we will continue to improve the effectiveness of this critical online resource which connects buyers and suppliers of FSC-certified construction materials. We will also devote resources to engage certified suppliers not yet opted into the database, so we can help drive value for their certification while increasing the range of offerings available to architects and builders. Of course, we recognize that building materials represent just a part of the FSC market, which is why we are also gearing up to also launch a consumer-facing certified products platform by the end of the year.
Across these initiatives and others, our focus in 2020 is on delivering ever-greater value to our certificate holders. Whether through measuring additional carbon storage and other impacts, enhancing our Forest Stewardship Standard, or directly helping to connect demand with supply, FSC US sees 2020 as a pivotal year for the system and our planet. There’s no doubt that our world faces many challenges, so we will redouble our efforts to ensure FSC remains the indispensable, practical way to use markets to protect forests for all, forever.
We look forward to our continued work together.
Corey Brinkema, President