FSC provides consumers with assurance of responsible forestry practices in Canada and abroad

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Amidst these unsettling times, the COVID pandemic has illustrated that each of us is part of one global community. The climate crisis is another irrefutable challenge that unites us all.

Essential to the fight against this crisis are natural climate solutions, one of the most important being trees and forests (PNAS.org and wbcsd.org). Trees are natural carbon traps that emit oxygen, improving the air that we all breathe.  But as the global population grows so does the demand for timber products, including paper and packaging (Environmental Paper Network), which contributes the loss of natural forest which continues to run at the unsustainable pace of 7.6 million hectares per year (Environmental Paper Network).

The urgent need for responsible forest management to ensure the sustainability of the world’s forests was identified as a key priority at the Rio Summit in 1993 and was the driving force behind the creation of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).  Today, our Forest Management Standards provide country-specific guidelines to responsibly harvest and care for forests in more than 80 countries around the globe. 

FSC Canada’s standard was updated last year to address the most urgent issues facing Canadian forests this century: the woodland caribou crisis, the protection of Indigenous Peoples rights, and the need to support high conservation values that forests have to help fight the climate crisis.

Canadian consumers have the ability to influence the management of forests all over the world because, quite simply, we buy products and packaging from all over the world.  Here in Canada, our packaging industry uses the largest portion of recycled fibres of any forestry sector – an important element of responsible forest management, and an incredible achievement for which we commend the Canadian packaging industry (wbcsd.org).  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for some packaging sourced from other countries.  That’s why consumers must be informed not only about forestry practices and material sourcing within Canada, but about what’s taking place within forests around the world.

When consumers see the FSC logo on a package or product, they can rest assured that it not only comes from sustainable sources, but that it also meets our strict requirements of overall responsible forest management.  This means giving equal voice to all those who depend on forests including Indigenous Peoples, industry, social stakeholders and environmentalists. 

Right now, more than ever, we are reminded that each of us is a member of one global community. What happens in one country, can affect us in another. As we rebuild after the COVID crisis, let’s focus on the incredible ability that forests have to support humans, plants and animals and put the welfare of our natural environment at the centre of the decisions we make.


Francois Dufresne portraitAbout François Dufresne

François Dufresne is the President of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Canada, a position he has held since May 2012.

Mr. Dufresne has 25 years of experience in the private and public sectors with a proven track record in financing and investments, as well as an in-depth knowledge of the forest industry at both corporate and manufacturing levels. In his previous position at Société Générale de Financement du Québec (SGF), Francois played a key role in sustainable development initiatives involving extensive forest management expenditures, forest certification and Canada's First Nations.

As President of FSC Canada, Mr. Dufresne is responsible for strategic planning, financial performance, and fundraising and stakeholder relations. He continues to leverage established relationships with government officials, forestry industry and financial sector executives, Canadian companies, and Indigenous leaders, unions and communities across Canada to increase awareness for FSC, and promote adoption of FSC standards by Canadian forestry industry.


FSC logoFSC Profile

FSC is a global organization that is present in more than 80 countries with 200 million hectares of certified forests around the globe. It was created in 1993 after the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit as a voluntary forest certification system. Based on a consensus obtained with social, indigenous, environmental, and economic stakeholders, we set strict standards to ensure that FSC-certified forest products are issued from responsibly managed forests. The wood fibre from certified forests is tracked to retail stores through the FSC chain of custody system. FSC-certified wood, paper, and other forest products are then sold with the FSC label by certified companies in the marketplace. With 55 million hectares, Canada has the largest area of FSC-certified forests in the world. Sixteen per cent of Canada's forests are FSC-certified, and six of the 10 largest FSC-certified forests in the world are located here in Canada.

(Source: Canadian Parliamentary Committee Hear in April 2018. Link here)