It hopes that by explaining the benefits of the scheme, more businesses will sign up for certification, and create more demand for FSC forests and certified materials.
Environmental, social, and economic values
The FSC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which champions responsible management of the world’s forests. Forests can be certified if they meet the organisation’s criteria, and businesses which source their wood from these forests can use the FSC logo on their products.
However Mario Abreu, environmental performance director, Tetra Pak, told FoodProductionDaily.com it has often been hard for businesses to quantify and demonstrate exactly what FSC certification does for forests.
“Business awareness of FSC certification, especially in Europe, is very high (thanks in part to the work of FSC and its supporting organisations, particularly from the NGO community).
“What perhaps is lacking is not necessarily awareness, but understanding – both in terms of the benefits of FSC certification to the world’s forests, but also to businesses.
“The challenge is twofold, firstly it’s about ensuring that enough FSC-certified material exists, and secondly that businesses see the value of certification. This initiative will hopefully help to address both challenges.”
‘Let’s boost demand for certified timber!’ Tetra Pak
The initiative from Tetra Pak, IKEA, and Kingfisher (whose brands include B&Q, Castorama and Screwfix) will run for two years.
“The first step will be to work together to establish the methodology, but in principle we will be looking to demonstrate the value of FSC certification, in supporting the environmental, social and economic values present in the world’s forests,” said Abreu.
“This will help businesses and consumers understand the value of FSC certification, which will then help to create further demand for certified timber.”
In 2013, 41% of Tetra Pak’s paperboard was 100% FSC certified. The company aims to increase this to all its paperboard, Abreu added.
“How quickly we achieve this depends on the global availability of FSC-certified raw materials, as more commercial forests and paperboard suppliers join the certification scheme.
“We hope that this initiative, by demonstrating the value of FSC certification, will result in more demand from other businesses. In turn this will drive the uptake of the FSC system amongst the world’s paperboard suppliers.”
Why is certification important?
Forests managed in accordance with the FSC’s principles and criteria consider fair conditions for workers, respect for indigenous communities and local populations, and environmental controls.
The FSC also cites business advantages such as enhanced public image, additional clients, and improved production efficiency.
The first FSC-labelled food and liquid carton was launched on Tetra Pak packaging in 2007. By 2012 Tetra Pak was using FSC certification in 39 countries.
“We believe that the use of FSC-certified materials within Tetra Pak packages is a competitive advantage for our customers versus competitor cartons,” said Abreu.
The initiative is aimed at increasing understanding of the FSC among businesses. There is also work to be done in making more consumers aware of FSC certification, but they already have an influence, said Abreu.
“This initiative will be valuable to a business audience, but ultimately its findings will be useful in demonstrating to consumers the value of FSC certification.
“While businesses play an important role in specifying FSC certified materials, this decision is in part based on a consumer preference to buy products that demonstrate their responsible credentials through the FSC logo.”