Did you know ... Forest sustainable management ?

27/04/07

Proof of origin
 
Bureau Veritas provides third party verification to the forestry and wood products industries. But  increasingly, under pressure from consumers and from non governmental organizations, more is needed  than just verification. Consumers are starting to demand proof of origin or traceability. People want to know that the products they buy come from forests which are managed responsibly. The answer is certification. Explains Nicolas Barrière of Bureau Veritas France: “The certificates we issue guarantee that FSC standards are respected.” Bureau Veritas acquired special expertise in eco-certification through the acquisition of Eurocertifor in early 2005. This company was France's leading certification body specialized in eco-certification.
 
“When we certify a wood product,” says Nicolas Barrière, “we study all stages of production, distribution and sale – through all companies from the forest to the finished product. For a retail chain and its customers, our independent opinion is worth a lot. In the long term, traceability helps build a sustainable growth economy.”

Social Responsibility

Environmental groups support the certification process and they encourage companies to adopt it. They believe that the way responsible companies act can be compared to the way a responsible citizen behaves. The FSC certificates do more than help environmental and sustainability issues; they also look at social issues. How are workers treated? Do they have contracts? Are they given safety equipment? Are children working in adult jobs? These and many more issues are explored by the audit. In fact, sometimes FSC standards are stricter than a country's laws. Says Nicolas Barrière: “The FSC requires companies to respect their workers, local communities and to consider the existence of all species in forest ecosystems. Eco-certification pushes them to improve their management and to have a long term plan.”

Planning 250 years ahead

More than 172 million acres (70 million hectares) have already been FSC-certified worldwide (nearly 2% of the world’s forests). This is just the beginning! This is long-term work. Companies that have been allocated a long-term production-forest need to think in terms of sustainable development.
As their partners, we also need to think a long way ahead. “Some trees grow very slowly.
These are products that have to be managed in the context of the next 25, 50 or even 250 years,” says Nicolas Barrière. “But this is crucial. If nothing is done, then within five or ten years, there will be an increasing number of problems with tropical forests being over-exploited. This is more than just about business: beyond the commercial interests, we are all motivated by the environmental aspect.”

For more information:
www.FSC.org

Contact us

Bureau Veritas

Phone: +33 1 42 91 52 91

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