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Global Forest & Trade Network

Overview

The future of the world’s forests depends greatly on the actions of North Americans. We are one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of wood and paper products. And the US is one of the top importers of wood from countries considered high risk for illegal logging and poor forest management.

So how do we ensure forests can continue to provide the world with what it needs to survive? Everything from wood for building homes to habitat for hundreds of thousands of species?

By slowing the pace of deforestation and forest degradation. The actions of governments, nonprofits and consumers are key to slowing the pace. But the actions of companies are particularly important. They have tremendous purchasing power to support responsible forestry and trade globally, as well as to eliminate the market for unsustainable and illegal wood.

Without such action, we will continue to lose plant and animal species, some that we have not even discovered. Poverty will continue to increase among the millions who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Fresh air and water will become the exception, not the norm. The supply of some forest products and types of wood will become more scarce. And we will miss the opportunity to curb emissions associated with global warming.

A key part of the solution is making good decisions from the forest floor to the sales floor. That’s where WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network-North America (GFTN-NA) program comes into play.

The program engages companies, trade associations, public procurement entities and institutions across North America that are committed to responsible production and sourcing of forest products. It is a network made up of a diverse group of people: forest managers, forest product producers, forest product buyers and many more.

Priority Commodities

What's Behind the FSC Logo?

When you see that symbol, you don’t have to wonder whether pristine forests were destroyed to make the product or whether the workers wielding chainsaws were paid a living wage. Because when you see the FSC logo, you know the product can be traced back to a company that has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Forest where wood is harvested per FSC norms

Why It Matters

  • Avon Products, Inc.

    Halfway there in its goal to purchase 100 percent of its paper from independently certified or post-consumer, recycled-content sources by 2020

  • Domtar Paper Company LLC

    Helped 55 landowners in the southeastern US achieve FSC group certification on 70,000 acres

  • Hewlett Packard Co.

    On track to meet its 2015 goal of 50 percent, by tonnage, of HP-branded paper that is made from FSC-certified and/or post-consumer waste. 

  • International Paper

    Since 2007, has added approximately 1.5 million tons of FSC-certified wood fiber to its US paper and packaging manufacturing system

  • The Kimberly-Clark Corporation

    111 percent increase in its use of FSC fiber since 2009

  • The Magellan Group, Ltd.

    100 percent FSC-certified tropical wood for decking, rain screen and flooring

  • Procter & Gamble

    On track to meet its goal of 40 percent FSC-certified fiber in its tissue and towel products by 2015

  • Tetra Pak Inc.

    100 percent FSC-certified paper products used in its US and Canada offices

  • Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

    11 percent of the wood used in Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s furniture in 2013 was FSC-certified and more than half that amount was recycled

What WWF Is Doing

WWF's GFTN program

Man marking timber which has been legally harvested by a company which participates in WWF's Global Forest Trade Network (GFTN) program in western Ghana.

Sharing Knowledge to Save Forests

WWF works with companies—and the companies work with each other—to develop responsible sourcing policies, analyze the forest origins of their products, identify and mitigate sourcing risks, eliminate unsustainable sources of wood, engage with suppliers, share best practices, and make good decisions that reduce their environmental footprint.

GFTN-NA participating companies also are focused on progressively increasing the volumes of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified and recycled material in their supply chains. The FSC—which WWF helped establish nearly 20 years ago—has the most rigorous forest management standards for environmental and social responsibility.

Launched in 2006, GFTN-NA is part of a global program spanning 27 countries. GFTN-NA includes 10 companies across several forest product sectors. All are contributing to healthy forests through the creation and implementation of comprehensive programs related to responsible sourcing of forestry products. They serve as a model for others in their sector and across the globe.

GFTN-NA participants are also active on the policy front. Most are advocates for the Lacey Act, created in 1900 and amended in 2008 to include the prohibition of illegal timber and timber products from entering the US market. GFTN-NA participants are working with WWF to ensure full implementation of the 2008 amendments. The amendments are inspiring companies to make smarter sourcing decisions and monitor their global timber supply chains to avoid any illegal timber.

Expanding Its Reach
A priority for GFTN-NA over the next few years is broadening its outreach beyond corporate audiences. For example, GFTN-NA has shared its responsible sourcing guidance with the National Wood Flooring Association and is introducing the association’s members to GFTN companies from tropical regions. And GFTN-NA is deepening its relationships with other NGOs that are focused on responsible sourcing issues. It also works with local and federal governments, as well as universities and institutional purchasers, who recognize the role they can play in driving responsible forestry through their procurement decisions. And the network is reaching out to more consumers to raise awareness about the power of their purse to influence responsible forestry.

It is only through cooperation that we can protect the world’s forests. To learn more about GFTN-NA, contact us at gftn-na@wwfus.org

 

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