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Friday, 10 June 2022
FSC Leadership Awards Recognize Excellence in Forest Sustainability

This article was originally published on Sustainable Brands.


“When focusing on wood products, that’s where FSC comes in. It’s proven to be the most reputable and stringent option, so we rely on it for all of our projects”, says Katie Stanford of STŌK, a leading built-environment sustainability firm, in a recent webinar on responsible forestry. The webinar, produced by Sustainable Brands, also included Christopher Reeves from Procter & Gamble and Brad Kahn of Forest Stewardship Council US.

A peer-reviewed study by Ecotrust and the University of Washington showed that forests managed to FSC standards are globally significant in their ability to store large quantities of carbon, which is key to mitigating the effects of climate change.

While some have argued that any form of forest management (short of deforestation) is carbon neutral because trees eventually re-grow, in reality the study found that larger and more protective buffers along streams, retention of more live trees following a harvest, and longer rotation lengths all combine to result in significantly more carbon storage.

The range of additional carbon storage extended from 13% to 69% more in FSC-certified forests, and an average of approximately 30% more than legal management practices alone.

With responsible forestry, natural climate solutions, regenerative building practices, and consumer demand for environmentally responsible products at the forefront, FSC is inviting companies to showcase their leadership and inspire others to raise the bar.

The 12th annual 2022 FSC Leadership Awards recognize excellence in the use of FSC-certified products and commitment to responsible forest management in building, manufacturing, advocacy, conservation and individual leadership in the FSC community.

People, projects and organizations in Canada, Mexico and the United States are eligible in the categories below.

Categories for submissions:

  • A design & build project - a commercial, institutional, mixed-use or residential real estate development, or furniture or other product design completed in 2020, 2021 or 2022 and utilizing at least 50% FSC-certified materials for wood products.
  • An FSC-certified company or organization - Current FSC certificate holder.
  • An FSC trademark license holder - Current trademark license holder.
  • A nonprofit organization - Partnership or shared goal with the Forest Stewardship Council.
  • An uncommon partnership - A campaign, event, or project that your company or organization completed in tandem with another company or organization brought about by your common interest in FSC and responsible forest management.
  • An individual champion - An individual who has exemplified extraordinary leadership in innovating and advancing FSC and responsible forest management.

Past winners include Mattel, which sourced 97% recycled or FSC-certified content used in its packaging and products last year, and GreenFirst, for maintaining FSC certification on over 9 million acres of complex boreal landscapes in Ontario and Quebec for more than 15 years.

Mattel’s head of global sustainability, Pamela Gill-Alabaster, says: “Responsible and sustainable sourcing is a critical component of our updated ESG strategy, and Mattel packaging teams implement various eco-design and circular economy principles in the development of our products and packaging. “Our focus is to develop innovative products and experiences that are better for our world by integrating sustainable materials and principles of product stewardship and circular design.”

Rick Doman, GreenFirst’s Chief Executive Officer, says, “Sustainability is a core value of GreenFirst and we are committed to focus on being positive stewards of the forests we manage.  We believe in the added value FSC certification brings to our products for our customers. It is a great honor to receive this award from the FSC – a Global leader in forest certification.”

Selection Process
You are encouraged to submit your own project or organization, or to nominate another. A jury will select winners based on the applications received. Submissions are due Friday, September 16, 2022. Winners will be notified in October.

Click here to apply for a 2022 Leadership Award