Timber Sector Performs Well in Sustainability Report

Submitted by: Joan MacKenzie 02/25/2012

Timber and forest products companies are once more among the top performers in terms of minimizing the risk of their activities causing deforestation, according to the latest report from the Forest Footprint Disclosure initiative (FFD).

February 6, 2012

Timber and forest products companies are once more among the top performers in terms of minimizing the risk of their activities causing deforestation, according to the latest report from the Forest Footprint Disclosure initiative (FFD).

The FFD scheme was launched in 2008 by the Global Canopy Foundation. Its aim is to promote sustainable forest products sourcing and curb deforestation caused by other sectors, such as agriculture.

 Each year it sends out questionnaires to companies worldwide to assess their strategies for “minimizing their forest footprint” and publishes its findings in an annual review. It focuses specifically on the supply and use of what it sees as key “forest risk commodities”. Besides forest products (timber, paper and pulp), these are palm oil, soy, beef, leather and biofuel.

The third FFD Review will be launched at an event tomorrow in London, where speakers will include Theodore Roosevelt IV, managing director of Barclays Capital, and Penny Shepherd, chief executive of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association.

Forest product companies which completed their FFD questionnaires and are included in the review include Stora EnsoWeyerhaeuserHolmen Skog, Arauco, Domtar and UPM-Kymmene.

Last year’s Review concluded that the sector was the strongest performing overall, thanks to its “long heritage of exposure to certified supply chains and mature third party sustainability standard setting”.

The FFD would not reveal detail of this year’s findings before the Review is officially released, but it is thought that forest products put in a very strong overall showing again, despite facing growing supply challenges, given rising global demand and increased competition from the biomass fuel sector.