Sustainable Forest Management

CSA SFM User Group Newsletter

September 2014



Reaching out

You can visit members of the CSA User Group at: 
Greenbuild 2014  October 22-23, 2014, - Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA 


How Often are CSA Standards Updated?

Each of the 3,000 CSA standards is reviewed at least every five years as part of a process of continual improvement and to ensure market relevance.

This gargantuan task is made possible with help from 8,500 expert Committee Members. CSA, as a Standard Development Organization, facilitates the standards development and maintenance processes, while the Technical Committees set the content.




Need to know more about PEFC CoC?

 A webinar on the revised chain of custody standard.

Additional Information on the revised PEFC Chain of Custody Standard.

A webpage on the EUTR & PEFC Chain of Custody.

PEFC's revised CoC requires all holders to conform as of February 14th, 2014.

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Promotional Logo

The CSA User group's promotional logo helps remind customers that under the PEFC banner lies a substantial supply of high quality fibre from Canada’s CSA certified forests.



PEFC Global Standards for Sustainable Forest Management

PEFC’s Sustainability  requirements include: 

- Respect for property and land tenure rights as well as customary and traditional rights
- Compliance with all fundamental ILO conventions and occupational health and safety requirements
- Prohibition of forest conversions, the most hazardous chemicals, and genetically modified trees

The CSA SFM Standard meets these tests and is endorsed by PEFC. More about PEFC’s approach to forest certification can be found here.


A Page from History

During World War I, a lack of consistency between the technical resources being used led to frustration, injury, and death. Britain requested that Canada form a standards committee.

As a result the Canadian Engineering Standards Association (CESA) was formed in 1919. In the beginning they focused on some very specific needs, such as aircraft parts, bridges, building construction, electrical work, and wire rope. In 1920 CESA published its first standard, Specification for Steel Railway Bridges. The breadth of the CESA’s work expanded from there.

In 1940 the organization was renamed the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) to better reflect its broader mandate. Today CSA develops standards in 57 different areas. These include sustainability technologies, and new technologies such as electric vehicles, alternative fuels, and nano materials.


Your Opinion Please

Any suggestions you have for the newsletter would be appreciated. Click here to send your feedback.

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Renewal of the CSA SFM Standard is Underway

A reconstituted CSA Technical Committee on Sustainable Forest Management (SFM), made up of people gathered from across Canada and many walks of life, met for the first time in Vancouver in May of this year. At that meeting they started the job of reviewing and revising CSA SFM Standard - CAN/CSA Z809.

Their work carried on over the summer, as sub-committees discussed revisions to the various sections of the standard. They considered and responded to suggestions, and drafted proposed edits for consideration by the whole group. The full Technical Committee will reconvene again in November to consider the suggested changes, and come up with the first of three drafts of the new edition.


This will be the third time the CSA Z809 Standard has been revised. It was first published back in 1996, after more than a year of extensive public participation and development by a Technical Committee. One quarter of the Technical Committee was comprised of forest producers, while the remainder were scientists, academics, Aboriginals, and representatives of government, labour unions, consumers and environmentalists.

The standard has been maintained in an open, public process since that time. It was reviewed and revised by the Technical Committee in 2002, and again in 2008. Then in 2013 it was reaffirmed for a further 3 years. Now another full revision process, that will take just over 2 years, is underway.

A Rigorous, Accredited Standards Development Process is Being Used

CSA is a Standards Development Organization. Established in 1919, it has a long, rich history in the development of consensus-based standards using accepted standards development processes. Accreditation by the Standards Council of Canada verifies that CSA is competent to carry out standard development based on internationally recognized criteria and procedures.

Important firewalls are in place that ensure independence and transparency between the processes of developing the standard, the approval of the standard, and the auditing of performance against the standard.

The key to CSA’s standards development process is using a balanced Technical Committee, where all interest groups have equal access, and minority interest groups have a voice. The process is organized to drive diverse stakeholders to consensus on tough issues.

No single group can dominate the standard review process.  The views of all participants are considered, and principles of inclusive participation, respect for diverse interest and transparency are used. Substantial agreement among committee members, rather than a simple majority of votes, is necessary.

You are invited to Get Involved

Because 93% of Canada’s forests is publically owned, public participation is an essential part of sustainable forest management in Canada.

The CSA Z809 Standard requires that there be local community and Aboriginal involvement in the development and monitoring of CSA Sustainable Forest Management Plans and ongoing forestry discussions. And in a step before that, the CSA standards development process ensures that public comments are considered in the development of the Standard itself.

Anyone who is interested is invited to provide input on the Z809 Standard to the Technical Committee during the standard revision process.

News about the revision of the CSA SFM Standard and the opportunity to provide comments at the outset of the process, was spread before the revision process started. Distribution lists, news releases, and newsletters were used to spread the word, public advisory groups that operate in each CSA certified forest were contacted, and comments were gathered through an online survey. Representatives from public advisory groups also are also plugged into the standard revision process directly, by having representatives sit on the Technical Committee that is revising the Standard.

There will also be a 60-day, formal public consultation period once a third draft of the new edition is available for review. This is expected to occur from June to August, 2015.

Interested in getting involved? Please contact CSA’s Jonathan Fung, the Manager for this standard revision project, to let him know you would like to be notified directly when the public consultation period for the CSA SFM Z809 Standard starts.

Jonathan Fung
Project Manager, CSA Group
5060 Spectrum Way, Suite 100
Mississauga, ON Canada L4W 5N6
T 416‐747‐4155 | F 416‐401‐6779
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Milestones in the Standard Revision Process

The bottom line: A revised Z809 SFM Standard is planned for April, 2016. Key dates along the way to that goal are:
Jan 2014 Reconstitution of the Technical Committee
Nov 2014 Draft 1 of New Edition
April 2015 Draft 2 of New Edition
June 2015 Draft 3 of New Edition
June - Aug 2015
Public Review Period
Sept - Dec 2015 Revisions, Technical Committee Ballot, New Edition
Jan - April 2016 Publication (in English and French)
Submission to Standards Council of Canada

Bioenergy, Biomass and Sustainability

A global desire to reduce fossil fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions is
driving policy changes. One example is the European Union (EU) goal for producing 20% of its energy with renewable resources by 2020. Bioenergy represents nearly 80% of renewable energy produced globally.

As a result, European demand for the use of wood for energy has grown rapidly. Transatlantic trade in wood pellets is expanding to meet this demand and it is projected that as much as one half of the European demand will be imported from countries such as Canada.


As the use of bioenergy increases, so too does the demand on the world’s forests to provide the required raw materials, creating a clear challenge to sustainable forest management. In addition, other issues, such as the growing competition between the various demand sectors and the need for reliable and transparent evidence of sustainability, also require attention.

Canada’s national forest certification program CSA Z809 is well placed to address these challenges, providing assurance that the raw materials come from sustainably managed forests. The forest management standard combined with PEFC Chain of Custody, provides assurance that the raw materials come from sustainably managed forests – regardless of the product type. Solid wood building products, pulp and paper products and bio-energy feedstock all contain that assurance. In the Canadian context, the majority of bio-energy feedstock is produced from sawmill residue and waste materials that would otherwise be land-filled or burned.

An overriding policy around adequate demonstration of legal and sustainable sourcing of biomass in European countries is still under development. Some countries have sought to develop their own national-level requirements. CSA Z809 with its endorsement by PEFC, provides Canadian biomass producers the opportunity to enter into these markets.

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