Pacific Cedar

Cedar forest practices and certification

British Columbia, the main source of Western Red Cedar, is a leader in third-party sustainable forest management certification, with an area almost as large as the UK certified under one of three proven standards.

The three certification methods used in B.C. – the Canadian Standards Association’s Sustainable Forest Management Standard (CSA), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – all involve independent, qualified third-party audits that measure a company’s planning, practices, systems and performance.

They all ensure that forest management promotes sustainability.  They all examine how operations address a range of forest values such as biological diversity, wildlife habitat, soils and water resources.  Furthermore, they all ensure that harvested areas are reforested, that laws are complied with, and that there is no unauthorized or illegal logging.  Finally, all three certification methods have non-industry participants and publicly-released audit results.

Virtually every major B.C. forest company, and many smaller ones, operate on certified lands.  Customers can be assured that if a supplier is issued a certificate demonstrating certification to the CSA, SFI or FSC standards, the Western Red Cedar products they supply come from sustainable and well-managed forests.

Canadian Standards Association B.C. has 55 million acres certified under the CSA Standard.  CAN/CSA-Z809, Canada’s National Sustainable Forest Management Standard. CSA uses a continual improvement approach and requires public participation, practical demonstration of sustainable forest management practices, and management commitment. CSA offers a chain-of-custody audit as well as a Forest Products Marking Program so retailers, manufacturers, homebuilders and consumers can identify products that come from forests certified to the CSA standard.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI. Inc.) About 135 million acres of forest land across North America are certified to SFI, an independent, registered non-profit organization with a governance structure that has equal representation from the social, economic and environmental sectors.
The SFI Standard is a comprehensive system of principles, objectives, performance measures and core indicators, which integrate the perpetual growing and harvesting of trees with the protection of wildlife, plants, soil, water and air quality. SFI offers a certified procurement system audit as well as an on-product label option for use by third-party certified program participants that meets Federal Trade commission guidelines for environmental claims.

Forest Stewardship Council Availability of FSC-certified wood from B.C. remains limited since the FSC B.C. regional standard has only preliminary approval from FSC International. FSC, an international non-profit organization, supports environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable forest management. Its 10 overarching forest management principles and 56 criteria are used as a guiding framework for regional standards that are developed to reflect local ecological, social and economic factors. To carry the FSC label, a product must be verified as coming from a certified well-managed forest through a chain-of-custody certification and by meeting the FSC’s percentage-based claims requirements.