Why use Wood

Sustainable Forestry and Certifications

Wood absorbs and stores carbon for its entire life, making it an important resource for combating climate change. Trees and forest products play a critical role in protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO₂).

Wood is the only material with third party certification programs in place to verify that products originate from a sustainably managed source.


Only 10% of the world’s forests are certified and Canada has 37% of the world’s forest certification. Canada has 168 million hectares certified to at least one of the three internationally recognized forest certification programs – CSA, SFI and FSC.

Canada has 43% of all PEFC endorsed certifications world-wide (CSA and SFI), and 28% of the FSC certifications world-wide.

Canadian Wood is FSC & PEFC certified

British Columbia (B.C.) – Canada’s Westernmost Province

British Columbia is world renowned for its sustainable forest management practices and has 52 million hectares certified to one of three internationally recognized certification standards – PEFC (CSA, SFI) and FSC.

At the end of 2016, B.C. had 52 million hectares (128.5 million acres) of certified lands. Canada is the international leader in forest certification with B.C. contributing more than any other province.

British Columbia Forest Certification in the Global Context 2016 year-end

British Columbia has 52 million hectares certified to at least one of these three internationally recognized certification programs:

  • 26.6 million hectares (51%) to CSA
  • 24.0 million hectares (46%) to SFI and
  • 1.4 million hectares (3%) to FSC.

Both the CSA and the SFI programs are endorsed internationally by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) – which amounts to 97% of B.C.’s certified area.

Summary of Forest Certification Statistics for B.C.

Summary of Forest Certification Statistics for B.C.

** Note: The totals for B.C. (for 2014) and Canada have been adjusted to account for areas certified to more than one standard.  Since 2015, B.C. has not had any areas certified to more than one standard.

While the three programs used in British Columbia have differences, they all promote principles, criteria and objectives that are viewed as the basis of sustainable forest management around the world. All three have balanced governance, with boards representing environmental, social and economic interests, and all three revise their standards regularly through an open public process. B.C. has adopted an inclusive approach and accepts all internationally-recognized third-party forest certification programs.

The Province’s rigorous forest management laws and regulations fully characterize what sustainable forest management (SFM) means in B.C. and what actions may take place on our public forest land. B.C. supports third-party forest certification as a tool to demonstrate the rigor of its forest management laws, and to document world-class sustainable forest management record.

Long before a tree is cut, forest professionals identify the silvicultural system that keeps the forest as natural as possible. A silvicultural system covers all activities such as early planning, logging and planting new trees. Resource managers in B.C. maintain forest diversity by planting native tree species in combination with natural regeneration. This approach maintains natural forests suitable for supporting habitat for a wide variety of animal, flora and fauna species.

B.C.’s approach to natural forest management differs from other jurisdictions using plantations as defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

After harvesting on public land, forest companies in B.C. remain responsible for regenerating the forest site until the trees have grown into a new, healthy forest.