Thursday, 15 February 2018
The Year Ahead for FSC
February 15, 2018
By Corey Brinkema
The start of a new year is a natural time to look ahead, map out strategy and refine objectives.
While the Forest Stewardship Council has several top priorities in the US, one stands out: In 2018 we will work to demonstrably grow the value FSC brings to certified businesses. Only when businesses succeed with FSC can we can deliver environmental and social benefits to forests and people.
With our Chief Marketing Officer Chris McLaren bringing vast marketing experience to our team, it is a priority to champion our own brand, and to "lift all boats" in the US and Canadian markets. We know that when consumers understand what FSC is, they look for the logo on products and advertisements and see FSC as a simple action with a profound impact.
We will also continue our work with companies like Kimberly-Clark, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, and Staples to tell the story of their commitment to forest conservation and products from responsibly managed forests. These efforts, and many others, help consumers better understand FSC and its impact. Stay tuned for high-profile campaigns to be launched later this year.
Another way we will work to deliver value to certificate holders is by working regionally to grow demand for FSC-certified wood products. Primarily focused on building materials and furniture, we will work in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest in particular with regional partners to communicate the importance of FSC to customers and help grow the volume of FSC-certified bought and sold by certified companies.
This work is best done in partnership with the businesses themselves, and we've seen the most positive results when companies "lean into" FSC, so we encourage certified companies to get in touch with us.
Of course, we will also continue to focus on increasing supply, especially in the Southeast and with family woodland owners. The group certification model will remain a critical component, and we are exploring new ways to lower barriers for family woodlands to offer FSC-certified materials to the mills in their woodsheds.
Related to FSC supply, we will begin the process of updating our US Forest Stewardship Standard in 2018. The goal will be to maintain the credibility of our "gold standard," while also looking for opportunities to streamline our processes and reduce barriers to entry into FSC certification, especially for family woodland owners.
2018 will be a busy year for FSC. At the outset, allow me to say how much we appreciate the work our certificate holders do to earn and maintain FSC certification. By embracing FSC, these 4,000+ companies help protect forests across the US and Canada, even as consumers use forest products every day. In the year ahead, we will work hard to show in our words and deeds how much we value your participation in the FSC system. Thank you.