Canadian timber company awarded FSC certification
Tembec received its certification from SmartWood, a Forest Stewardship Council accredited certifier, following an in-depth audit process that found that its forest management practices conformed to FSC’s rigorous standards for environmentally and socially responsible forestry practices.
“The only way Tembec could get this FSC certification was by demonstrating strong performance in meeting the standards for environmental protection, the recognition of Indigenous People’s rights, and social responsibility," said Anthony Marcil, President and CEO of Forest Stewardship Council Canada.
Tembec is responsible for Forest Management Units 85–51 and 85–52 through a timber supply and forest management contract awarded by the Quebec government. These units cover close to 1.2 million hectares (3 million acres) to the north of La Sarre, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
Located in the heart of the Canadian boreal forest this rich and fertile environment provides a healthy habitat for a variety of plants, animals, and microorganisms. Black spruce predominates the area while mixed stands include balsam fir. Some hardwoods, such as white birch, aspen and, to a lesser extent, balsam poplar, also grow in this area. An Aboriginal presence dating back some 5,000 years is still maintained today through the presence of the Algonquin Abitibiwinni and Cree Waskaganish communities.
In January 2001, Tembec and WWF-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,” said Mike Russill, President and Chief executive Officer of WWF-Canada.
“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. We congratulate them on this achievement and look forward to continuing to work with Tembec into the future to ensure that Canada’s forests are harvested in a responsible manner.”
Tembec has now achieved FSC certification for 5.2 million hectares (13 million acres) of forest land in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. 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.
The FSC label enables Tembec customers to choose forest products with the confidence that they are contributing to preserving the world's forests.
“Today is a very good day for Quebec’s forests,” said James Lopez, President of the Tembec Forest Products Group.
“Our goal is to have all our Canadian forestry operations FSC-certified. So far, we have achieved 42 per cent of this goal as 5.2 million hectares (13 million acres) have been certified. We are now proud to affix the FSC logo on Tembec products coming from this forest and other FSC-certified forests across Canada, showing our commitment to the health and survival of wildlife and the forest.”
• Tembec is a leading integrated forest products company, well established in North America and France. With sales of approximately US$4 billion and some 11,000 employees, it operates 50 market pulp, paper and wood-product manufacturing units, and produces chemicals from by-products of its pulping process. Tembec markets its products worldwide and has sales offices in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, China, Korea, Japan, and Chile. The Company also manages 40 million acres of forest land in accordance with sustainable development principles and has committed to obtaining Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for all forests under its care by the end of 2005.
• The FSC is an independent, not-for-profit, non-government organization based in Bonn, Germany, providing standard setting, trademark assurance, and accreditation services for companies and organizations interested in responsible forestry. It was created in 1993 by environmental organizations such as WWF, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace, indigenous forest dwellers, professional foresters, big retailers such as Sweden’s IKEA and the UK’s B&Q, and large and small forest companies. 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.
For further information:
Wendy Douglas, Communications Manager
Tel: +1 416 484 7726
Pierre Brien, Vice President
Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: +1 819 627 4387