Forest Stewardship Council's New Program

The Forest Stewardship Council-US (FSC-US) has launched a new program that will develop the first-ever global forestry registry that will help companies and consumers ensure they purchase wood that is harvested in a responsible manner. The FSC Controlled Wood Global Risk Registry program, funded by a grant from the Home Depot Foundation, will provide companies, certifiers and other interested parties a practical tool to evaluate five categories of risk associated with wood sources, including illegally harvested wood and genetically-modified trees. "This effort will help all manufacturers, retailers and consumers of wood products to be able to positively verify that their dollars are not aiding the illegal or harmful actions of others," said Roger Dower, president of FSC-US. "It is not just the financial contribution from The Home Depot Foundation that is important for this project. The Home Depot is a market leader and perhaps the most important wood purchaser in the world. For its foundation to take a leadership position in making the procurement process more responsible for the entire industry is invaluable." ::FSC-US via ::GreenBiz"Certification under the FSC allows companies to reward the best practitioners of sustainable forestry and gives us a paper trail to the specific forest which is very important in developing countries," said Ron Jarvis, vice president of merchandising for The Home Depot. "The global forestry industry has made tremendous strides during the past several years, and the development of this global registry clearly is the next step in ensuring socially responsible procurement."

The Home Depot is the world's largest seller of certified wood products, and the FSC is the global and national leader in the independent certification of responsible forest management, so the deal definitely has "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"-type implications for both sides, but when it comes to building a valuable resource that will help ensure less fraud and get more certified wood to consumers, we don't necessarily think that's a bad thing. ::FSC-US via ::GreenBiz