Global Forest & Trade Network


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

International Paper and WWF Join Forces to Help Create First-Ever Science-Based Targets for Forests and Scale-Up Forest Restoration in Brazil

A new collaboration between WWF and International Paper (IP)—a participant in WWF’s Global Forest & Trade Network program and one of the world’s largest packaging, pulp and paper companies—research and assessments will help determine how much forest land—and what quality—is needed to ensure forests can continue to provide people, plants and animals worldwide with the clean air and water, food and other “services” they need to thrive.

Aerial view of Amazon

Why It Matters

  • McDonald's Corporation

    64% of McDonald’s Corporation’s fiber-based packaging is certified or recycled. The company is more than halfway toward its goal of 100% by 2020, with a preference for FSC.

  • Domtar Paper Company LLC

    Number of Southeast US landowners who Domtar Paper Company LLC has helped achieve FSC certification has surpassed 500 and acreage certified has topped 500,000.

  • HP

    HP has publicly stated its goal for all HP-brand paper and paper-based product packaging to be derived from certified and recycled sources by 2020, with a preference for virgin fiber from FSC-certified sources.

  • International Paper

    More than 515,000 acres of forest land in the US are certified through International Paper’s FSC group certificate. The land is in 10 states and is owned by 200 different landowners

  • The Kimberly-Clark Corporation

    Globally, The Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s tissue products contain 89% environmentally-preferred fiber (61% FSC and 28% recycled), bringing the company to within 1% of its 2025 goal.

  • Procter & Gamble

    Procter & Gamble’s work with WWF’s GFTN-NA program helped the company enable FSC certification for its Charmin and Puffs tissue products.

  • Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

    Williams-Sonoma, Inc.’s work with WWF's GFTN-NA program has supported the company in reaching over 40% responsibly sourced wood (e.g. FSC-certified and reclaimed wood) as of 2017. This puts the company well on its way to reaching its goal of 50% responsibly sourced wood across its family of brands by 2021.

  • Capital One

    Capital One contributed funds toward up to 10,000 acres of working forest land easements in key geographies of the Southeast US.

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 11 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.

The GFTN-NA participants are Avon Products, Inc., Capital One, Domtar Paper Company LLC, HP, International Paper, The Kimberly-Clark Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Procter & Gamble and Williams-Sonoma, Inc.

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 [email protected]