The Forest Stewardship Council™: A Step in the Right Direction
The Path towards a Sustainable Future
For most organisations, sustainability is a progressive evolution towards a more sustainable future. This can be focused on a range of different goals like eradicating hunger, clean water, gender equality or aspects of the environment. Any initiative around sustainability should centre on the organisation and what is pertinent to the stakeholders’ values and beliefs. This enables a better commitment and engagement to whichever cause or initiative is being undertaken. Importantly, be selective and understand the implications around each initiative; what they mean to your organisation, product and customer.
There is no point as a sourcing company, to move to chrome free leather production without assessing and understanding other dying processes and the environmental impact that these may have. Likewise moving from a synthetic material to a 100% cotton, although sounds a more sustainable option from a production perspective, discounts the environmental impact the production of cotton actually has (20,000 litres is the amount of water to produce one kilo of cotton).
Also, plastic is an amazingly adaptable, cost-effective and useful material. Therefore, removing it all together may not necessarily work but understanding its end-use may have a profound impact on the environment. For example, leading to reuse through recycling or other processes. The point is that there is no one answer. Any step, however little, towards a more sustainable future is a step worth taking.
FSC™ Certified Companies
Sustainability is a key pillar in the ET2C Ecosystem, and one of our sustainability goals for 2019 was to attain FSC certification. As a sourcing agent that manufactures and sells wooden products, we felt it important to support the FSC’s work on sustainable forest management. We achieved this certification on the 30th August 2019.
The global media coverage of the deforestation of the Amazon this past Summer has served as a reminder of the environmental harm being caused by unsustainable farming practices (mainly for rearing cattle). This Summer alone there were 26,000 reported incidents of fires. Certainly, this forms only a small part of the continual yearly reduction of the Amazon. Clearly, greater protections need to be implemented at an international level to protect already fragile ecosystems.
How Forest Stewardship Council is growing
It was actually at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro that the concept of the Forest Stewardship Council was born. On the back of a failure to produce any agreement on deforestation, a group of businesses, environmentalists and community leads developed the idea and now the FSC has just celebrated 25 years! Today, the organisation has grown significantly, and through a set of principles and standards that ensure both sustainable forestry management and ensure the chain of custody of products using wood from these forests, steps are being taken to protect the environment. The FSC now has:
- 200,233,958 Certified Hectares
- 39,664 CoC Certificates
- 1,655 FM/CoC Certificates
- 1,127 International Members across 90 Countries
The Amazon rainforest is approximately 550 million hectares on its own and largely sits within Brazil’s borders. However, in the 9 months to April 2019, 217,000 hectares were lost, a 20% increase on the prior 9 months. The international community needs to address more directly the drivers for this deforestation. Moreover, they should potentially take measures in their own markets to lessen the attractiveness of beef as a commodity.
FSC and The Consumer
The Millennial and the Gen Z consumer are looking at sustainability when it comes to Brands and what products they are looking to purchase. The FSC™ label has long formed a part of the product proposition both on packaging and the product itself. Importantly, the FSC is now looking at innovations to further enhance this proposition to the end consumer with Blockchain. Blockchain can track any movement of goods with value between different trading parties. This means that it can efficiently pass along claims in a verifiable and trusted way. Certainly, this will further provide reassurance as to the provenance of the raw material used for any given product.
Certainly, the FSC Certification is one step forward for ET2C as we continue along our journey towards a sustainable future. Therefore, we are constantly looking at ways to improve our sustainable footprint and will continue to do so. For any queries on FSC certification or anything related to Sustainability, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.