Tembec forest units are first in Quebec to be certified to FSC standards
Tembec has been awarded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its forest resource management practices in two forest management units in the La Sarre sector of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. This is the first public forest in Quebec to be awarded certification under the rigorous FSC standards for Canadian boreal forests. The two units cover close to three million acres in the heart of Canada's boreal forest.
Tembec received its certification from SmartWood, a certifying body accredited by the FSC, following an in-depth audit process that found that its forest management practices conformed to FSC's standards for environmentally and socially responsible forestry practices.
"This is the first time that a large area of Quebec public forest has achieved FSC certification," said James Lopez, president of the Tembec Forest Products Group. "Not only is this certification the most prestigious in the world, it is also the most difficult to achieve. Our goal is to have all our Canadian forestry operations FSC-certified. So far, we have achieved 42% of this goal as 13 million acres have been certified," he added.
Tembec's certified areas include forest land in Ontario and British Columbia as well as in Quebec. The company manages a total of 40 million acres of forest land and has committed to obtaining FSC certification for all forests under its care by the end of 2005.
The range of FSC-certified products offered by the company is continually increasing and now includes lumber, hardwood flooring, newsprint, paperboard, northern bleached softwood kraft pulp and high-yield pulp.
In January 2001, Tembec and World Wildlife Fund-Canada signed an agreement to implement sustainable forest management practices that conformed to FSC standards. "Tembec's certification means more consumers across North America can purchase FSC-certified products," WWF-Canada president and CEO Mike Russill commented. "Greener choices in the store mean more wildlife conservation, more protected areas and more sustainable communities. Tembec is showing strong leadership, going above and beyond normal regulatory requirements to protect the environment and build positive relationships around forest stewardship."
Founded in 1993, the FSC is an international non-governmental organization that has developed the only forestry certification system recognized worldwide by indigenous peoples, environmental groups, labour movements and industry. The certification system requires consultation with all other forest users and interested parties and ensures an independent assessment of a company's forest management practices. SmartWood, a program of the Rainforest Alliance, was founded in 1989 to certify responsible forestry practices and to date has certified more than 55 million acres in more than 50 countries worldwide.
More information is available on Tembec's Web site, www.tembec.com.