Alberta-Pacific Awarded FSC Forestry Management Certification
13.6 Million Acres Represents Largest FSC-Certified Forest in the World, and Puts Canada in the Lead for FSC-Certified Forests
Boyle, Alberta -- Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries has achieved Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its forest lands by accredited certifier SmartWood, a program of the Rainforest Alliance. The certification of 13.6 million acres of Alberta-Pacific's forest management area in northeastern Alberta represents the largest FSC-certified forest in the world. The certification follows a comprehensive 10-month assessment according to FSC Canada's National Boreal Standard.
"This FSC certification independently validates the direction we have taken as a company since we started operations in 1993," explains Andy Neigel, Alberta Pacific's general manager and vice president of operations. "The achievement also exemplifies our people's commitment to continuous improvement and to ensuring the forest is well managed and forest values are protected."
Neigel says Alberta-Pacific chose to pursue FSC certification because of its credibility in the global marketplace, track record as a results-oriented independent organization, endorsement by Aboriginal people, environmental and conservation groups and businesses, and focus on achieving social and economic as well as environmental standards.
"FSC certification is a good fit for our company, our customers and our position in the global market. We are now able to satisfy requests we are receiving from customers worldwide who are introducing FSC- certified paper and seeking suppliers of FSC- certified kraft pulp."
Heiko Liedeker, executive director of FSC International, says the size and location of Alberta-Pacific's forest area will have a ripple effect on the supply and demand for FSC-certified products on the global market. "We expect other companies and other countries to take notice of the achievement of Alberta-Pacific and the progress of Canada in embracing the responsible management of their forests, particularly in the boreal forests," says Liedeker. "We know from our surveys that the demand for many FSC-certified products is greater than the supply. Customers and consumers are becoming more aware and are requesting more products from well-managed forests, which now includes Alberta-Pacific's forest."