VANCOUVER — The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) launched an ambitious new initiative to increase the use of materials from responsibly managed forests. The Vancouver Declaration allows businesses which use these natural products to pledge their commitment to increase responsible sourcing.

Global companies like IKEA, H & M, SIG, Marks and Spencer, Jysk, Mitsubishi Paper Mills and Fuji Xerox have pledged support to the initiative. The aim is to get more businesses across the entire supply chain on board.

Kim Carstensen, director general of FSC, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many great businesses supporting this declaration. Our forests are a wonderful yet delicate natural resource, and a lot of people’s lives depend of their sustainable and responsible use. By committing to using FSC-certified wood and forest products, our partners are helping to protect our forests – and the planet – for future generations.”

The declaration reads, in part, “We have chosen to give visible and credible assurance of our commitments to our customers and other stakeholders by sourcing FSC-certified and controlled wood combined with reclaimed material for our products.”

It continues, “All stakeholders need to support the growth of FSC to increase its impact. We commit to do our share by continuing to increase our sourcing of FSC-certified materials. We call upon forest managers to join this effective global scheme. And we call upon other companies to support this movement by sourcing FSC-certified materials as we do, because market transformation can only succeed if we all commit and make the effort.”

Mikhail Tarasov, global forestry manager at IKEA, commented: “IKEA is committed to only use wood from more sustainable sources (currently FSC certified and recycled) by 2020 and promote sustainable forest management beyond our own needs to make it an industry norm. This is what we call ‘forest positive.’ So it was natural for us to support the Vancouver Declaration. We’re proud to be part of this global initiative.”

The Vancouver Declaration is part of FSC’s wider ambition to help businesses meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Samuel Sigrist, SIG, explained: “It has been a great honour for me to present the Vancouver Declaration at FSC’s 2017 General Assembly. We believe that this initiative, with its commitment to FSC certification, is a key tool in achieving parts of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We are the first in our industry to be able to display the FSC label on 100% of our packs. This is a major milestone for SIG on its journey to become a ‘net positive’ business, helping to create more natural resources than we use.”

FSC is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests.