Model Forest Resources Policy

[Company Name]'s Forest Resources Policy

[Date]

VISION STATEMENT

As an industry leader, [Company Name] is committed to ensuring the sustainability of its business, and to leveraging its influence in the marketplace to conserve, protect and restore natural resources.  As a cornerstone of that commitment, [Company Name] will pursue a forest resources policy to promote the development of markets for environmentally responsible forest products.  [Company Name] will also manage its wood and paper products procurement to eliminate endangered forest impacts and to require endangered forest protection.

PREAMBLE

[Company Name] recognizes that business leadership carries a responsibility to the environment, including the world's forest ecosystems. [Company Name] is positioned to influence both supply and demand in the market, and thus contribute to the development of environmental solutions that conserve, protect and restore forests. [Company Name] fully supports those responsible forest management practices that protect biodiversity and ecosystem integrity and provide long-term social and economic benefits to human communities.  In addition, [Company Name] will support initiatives to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions where practicable and will play a role in mitigating climate change by participating in initiatives to reduce global deforestation and to restore lost native forest ecosystems.   

Thus [Company Name] is establishing this policy to:  ensure the company does not inadvertently purchase or sell wood or paper products from endangered forests1  and other highly controversial sources; transition the company’s purchase of wood and paper products towards products from forests independently verified as being environmentally and socially well-managed, and towards products that can reduce market pressures on forests, e.g. recycled content products; explore opportunities to further promote markets for environmentally beneficial products; and establish mechanisms to effectively achieve these goals.

[Company Name] hereby establishes the following policy commitments, which shall apply to all forest products purchased for internal company use or further sale, and govern the activities of all subcontractors and subsidiaries of [Company Name]:

 POLICY

1.    [Company Name] will reduce and by [Date] eliminate its purchase of lumber, paper and all other forest-related products containing wood or wood fiber from endangered forest regions around the world.  Endangered forests include those discussed in Ecological Components of Endangered Forests (2006)2.   We will consult with ForestEthics and other experts such as the World Resources Institute's Global Forest Watch program for assistance in identifying endangered forests and wood and paper products from these forests.

2.    [Company Name] will reduce and by [Date] eliminate its purchase of wood and paper products from other highly controversial sources including:  companies that are logging forests illegally3; forests that comprise habitats of threatened, endangered, or imperiled species4; old growth forests; tree plantations5 established after 1994 through the conversion or simplification of natural forests; companies that are converting natural forests to plantations and/or non-forest land uses; areas being logged in contravention of First Nations/tribal/indigenous peoples’ rights; and National Forests and Bureau of Land Management Forests in the U.S.  [Company Name] will also avoid non-Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified plantations established before or during 1994.

3.    [Company Name] will give purchasing preference to paper products that contain post-consumer recycled (PCR) content and that are processed chlorine free, to reduce pressure on natural forests, protect water resources, and develop markets for such products.  We will meet the following initial, interim, and longer-term targets by [Date], [Date], and [Date] respectively, and seek to continually increase our paper products’ PCR content:

  • Uncoated papers (copy paper, envelopes, notepads, post-it notes, newsprint, etc):  Initial: 30% PCR.  Interim: 50%.   
  • Coated freesheet (glossy) catalog papers:  Initial: 30-50% PCR.  Long-Term: 50%.
  • Coated groundwood catalog papers (LWC 38# and lighter):  Initial: 10-20% PCR.  Long-Term: 50%
  • Coated groundwood catalog papers (LWC 40# and heavier):  Initial: 20-40% PCR.  Long-Term: 50%.
  • Supercalendared catalog papers:  Initial: 30-50% PCR.  Long-Term: 50%.
  • Circulars and inserts:  Interim: 100% PCR.
  • Cardboard:  Initial: 25% PCR.
  • Tissue/Towels:  Initial: 50% PCR.

4.    [Company Name] will give purchasing preference to virgin and/or recycled wood and paper products bearing one of the labels of the FSC.  This provides the most credible means of sourcing products from forests independently verified as being environmentally and socially well-managed.  FSC labeled products also carry assurances of chain-of-custody verification, and exclusion of some types of controversial sources.  We will strive to meet the following initial targets by [Date] and seek to continually increase our purchase of FSC certified products to the extent allowed by product availability and price:

  • [Product category] wood products:  10%
  • [Product category] wood products:  25%
  • [Product category] paper products:  10%
  • [Product category] paper products:  50%

5.    The FSC is currently the only certification system that provides sufficient environmental and social assurances.  Other certification systems may be considered by [Company Name] after:  adopting performance-based forest management and chain-of-custody standards that provide the same (or greater) degree of the specific types of environmental and social protections in the FSC’s standards; instituting governance and funding mechanisms that are fully balanced, transparent, and independent; and securing widespread acceptance from environmental and social stakeholders.  [Company Name] will consult with ForestEthics and other experts when evaluating certification systems. 

5.    [Company Name] will give purchasing preference to wood products containing reclaimed and recycled wood, to reduce pressure on natural forests and promote the development of markets for such products.

6.    [Company Name] will also consider opportunities to use paper products containing alternative fibers such as agricultural waste, and alternatives to wood-based building products, to further reduce pressure on natural forests and develop markets for such products.  [Company Name] will consult with ForestEthics and other experts to identify emerging product opportunities.  [Company Name] will ensure that wood and wood fiber alternatives they purchase do not originate from plantations established through the conversion of forests.

7.    [Company Name] will require all vendors and suppliers to demonstrate compliance with all legal requirements, including local, state, national and international regulations for forest management, harvest and manufacturing.  We intend to support existing forest conservation policies and ensure that no market advantage is realized by vendors and suppliers that circumvent the law.

8.    [Company Name] will promote the efficient use of all forest products.  We will maximize efficiency in our use of forest resources, continually seek to reduce our per-employee and/or per-unit-of-production consumption of wood and paper, and encourage our customers to do the same, through measures such as reducing catalog size and basis weight, and encouraging online shopping. 

9.  [Company Name] will support initiatives to address climate change by reducing  its greenhouse gas emissions where practicable and by participating in initiatives to reduce global deforestation and restore lost native forest ecosystems.  

10.    [Company Name] will seek to maintain open communications and collaborative relationships with all stakeholders, including by publishing and distributing an annual environmental sustainability report.  The reports will follow the Global Reporting Initiative's guidelines.  The reports will contain the results of  independent annual audits of [Company Name]’s progress in implementing this policy’s commitments.  The reports should also summarize other activities related to [Company Name]'s impact on the environment. 

IMPLEMENTATION MEASURES

To fulfill the preceding commitments, [Company Name] will:

1.    Develop and execute an action plan encompassing the following measures and other actions needed to implement our forest resources policy commitments.

2.    Educate and train relevant [Company Name] staff about the forest resources policy, its implementation measures, and the action plan.

3.    Conduct an initial supply vendor audit, performed by an independent third party, to:

  • Benchmark [Company Name]’s purchases and usage of wood and paper products;
  • Determine the forests of origin for these wood and paper products; and
  • Identify wood and paper products purchased and sold by [Company Name] that may contain inputs from endangered forests and/or other controversial sources.

4.    Develop and implement an action plan for phasing-out the purchase and usage of products from endangered forests and other controversial sources, to meet the objectives of commitments 1 and 2 of [Company Name]’s forest resources policy.  The action plan should:

  • Establish intermediate targets and timelines;
  • Include plans to communicate with wood and paper suppliers, and advise them that to retain [Company Name]’s business, they must:
    • Phase-out wood and paper from endangered forests and other controversial sources per the requirements of [Company Name]’s forest resources policy by [Date]; and
    • If the suppliers manage forests, then they must commit to identifying and protecting endangered forests under their management, and should commit to moving towards becoming FSC certified.
    • Include plans for conducting third-party supply vendor audits for proposed new wood and paper products, to confirm the sources of those products are not endangered forests and/or otherwise controversial.
  • Include plans to require all forest product suppliers to submit annual performance reports detailing their progress in meeting the requirements of [Company Name]’s forest resources policy; and
  • Include plans to consult with conservation organizations and independent scientists if assistance is needed in identifying endangered forests, other controversial sources, and/or products from these areas.

5.    Conduct an audit of [Company Name]’s purchase and usage of wood and paper products to benchmark the company’s use of FSC certified forest products, recycled or reclaimed wood, PCR and chlorine-free paper, and alternative fiber papers or alternative building materials, if any.

6.    Develop and implement an action plan for:

  • Increasing the purchase and usage of FSC certified wood and paper products per commitment 4 of [Company Name]’s forest resources policy;
  • Increasing the purchase and usage of PCR and chlorine-free paper per commitment 3;
  • Increasing [Company Name]’s efficiency in the usage of wood and paper products per commitment 8;
  • Exploring opportunities to increase the usage of reclaimed and recycled wood products per commitment 5; and
  • Exploring opportunities to increase the usage of non-wood building products and papers containing alternative fibers per commitment 6.

7.    The action plan should:

  • Include written goals and timelines for achieving the company’s objectives.  [For example, purchases and/or sales of FSC certified wood/paper should increase from X% to Y% by year Z.]
  • Include intermediate yearly goals.

8.    Establish an internal monitoring and feedback system to identify progress in meeting [Company Name’s] forest resources policy commitments, and to enable improved implementation of this initiative.  The system should require progress reports to be prepared annually.

9.    Explore opportunities to develop pilot projects and partnerships that can stimulate the market for environmentally responsible products, such as those containing FSC certified wood or paper.

10.    Produce an annual sustainability report per the preceding commitments.

Signed,

____________________[Chair of the Board]

____________________[President/CEO]

____________________[Vice-President Purchasing (or comparable)]

____________________[Director of Sustainability (or comparable)]


DEFINITIONS

1Endangered Forests.  Intact forest landscape mosaics, naturally rare forest types, forest types that have been made rare due to human activity, and other forests that are ecologically critical for the protection of biological diversity.  For more detail, see Ecological Components of Endangered Forests (2006). 

2Ecological Components of Endangered Forests.
  2006.  Produced by ForestEthics, Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Rainforest Action Network.  Available at: http://forestethics.org/downloads/EFDefinitions_April_2006_2.pdf.

3Legal forest management.
  Management that complies with all applicable international, national, and local laws, including environmental, forestry, and civil rights laws and treaties. 

4Imperiled species.  Fish, wildlife, and plants listed as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable by IUCN, NatureServe, and other comparable systems.

5Plantations.
  Areas planted predominately with non-native trees or other commercial plants.  Forests comprised of native species can also be managed as plantations, including via single species plantings on sites that would normally support multiple species, exclusion of other species via herbicide applications, short logging rotations that preclude the development of forest composition and structure, and/or other practices.