Sustainable Forest Management

CSA SFM User Group Newsletter

April 2012


Communication Toolkit Available

A rich variety of tools for communicating about the CSA and PEFC certification programs are now listed in one comprehensive Communication Toolkit.

Members of the CSA SFM User Group have direct access to the Toolkit, others desiring access should contact the User Group.


Confirming Sustainable Forestry

The CSA forest certification standards have been endorsed by PEFC. Check out this video for more on PEFC, the world's largest environmental movement.




PEFC International

At a recent meeting of all members, PEFC International revealed additional resources for promoting certified forest products to a range of customers. PEFC now offers brochures of specific interest to the printing, packaging and publishing industry, architects and designers and the construction industry. These brochures are available on the PEFC website at /resources/brochures.



CoC Webinar

PEFC Canada can arrange a Chain of Custody webinar for your organization, suppliers and/or customers.  Contact PEFC Canada directly.



Your Opinion Please

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


Europe’s Rising Interest in Sustainable Biomass

The European Union (EU) has set a target to have 20% of the its energy consumption come from renewable sources by 2020, through the European Renewable Energy Directive.  Forests are one source of the biomass that is increasingly being used for electricity and other forms of energy.  Peat, grass, and agricultural residues are other sources. Environmental standards for these biofuels include requirements that they deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and do not result in conversion of forests or wetlands.  This has sparked recent work (efforts) to show that certification to the CSA SFM standard provides one of way of demonstrating that products such as certified wood pellets from Canada meet Europe’s sustainable biomass requirements. 

Countries within Europe countries are working to achieve their specific share of the collective goal of 20% renewable energy sources, and setting their own environmental requirements and mechanisms within those established for the broader EU.  This has necessitated individual discussions between CSA and countries or utilities around their specific standards for sustainable biomass.

In the UK, the government regulator for the electricity and natural gas markets (Ofgem) is analysing forest certification standards against the UK’s sustainable biomass requirements, and looking for a complete or partial match that electricity generators can use to show that all or some aspects of those requirements have been met. Their sustainability criteria are set in regulation and include restrictions on land use changes since January 2008, requirements on carbon stock values, and biodiversity criteria.   

In the Netherlands the Dutch energy company RWE, a large supplier of utilities (water, gas, electricity) in Europe, is assessing suppliers against their Green Gold Label standard for the certification of solid biomass (such as wood pellets and chips) used for energy.  RWE representatives visited Canada earlier this year to meet with CSA and other forest certification standards, and tour Canadian forest operations.  Discussions with them have continued since then. 

As a result of this work there is now a better understanding that forest certification standards have not been designed to meet regulatory requirements for generating electricity from biomass.  Biomass standards contain criteria that are outside the scope of forest certification and can necessitate the use specific dates or terms, such as “peatland”.  Work continues to find the best possible match and to have the Canadian context in which the CSA standard is applied be taken into account.

PEFC Chain of Custody Seminars

Kitchener, Mississauga & Vaughan, ON

In February, 2012 PEFC Canada made presentations at three in a series of six seminars hosted by the Eastern Ontario Model Forest.  The seminars, developed in collaboration with FPInnovations and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, presented information to woodlot owners and small wood-based primary and secondary manufacturers.  Topics covered included:

   - the three Chain of Custody systems available in Canada: the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC),

  -  market trends for certified products,

       economic and non-economic benefits of certification,

       where and how to market certified products both domestically and for export, and,

  - the steps required to becoming Chain of Custody certified.  


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 Since the SFI system is also endorsed under the international PEFC program, SFI colleagues presented the PEFC Chain of Custody information at the seminar sessions PEFC Canada was not able to attend.

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