Advertorial by SCGH
As consumers, we’re faced with an almost overwhelming number of choices at every turn. Whether we’re buying groceries, choosing modes of transportation, or making home renovations, our purchasing decisions hold a lot of power. When we vote with our dollars and speak up for our values, companies start to listen. Recently, Green Diamond Resource Company achieved Forest Management certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards and its subsidiary, The California Redwood Company, earned FSC Chain-of-Custody certification, ensuring that all certified timber is properly tracked from the forest to the point of purchase. These certifications are not only huge for Green Diamond, they’re huge for consumers.
The California Redwood Company controls approximately 40 percent of the redwood lumber market, with Green Diamond’s California operations covering about 400,000 acres of forestland in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties on the North Coast. With these certifications, over 70 percent of the redwood market is now certified under the Forest Stewardship Council Standards. “At its core, this is a story about the power of the marketplace to drive positive change in the forest,” said Corey Brinkema, President of the Forest Stewardship Council’s US national office. “As a member-led democracy, FSC brings together diverse interests to set robust environmental and social standards that go far beyond what is required by law. It’s encouraging to see the market demanding forest stewardship,” he added.
For decades, Green Diamond has made considerable efforts to maintain habitats and implement innovative forest management practices. Neal Ewald, Vice President and General Manager of the company’s California Timberlands Division, believes that FSC standards are “well aligned with the values of our company, and earning certification allows us to demonstrate those values publicly.” In other words, it’s important to the company to have the highest environmental credibility for the consumer—and dedicating over a year to rigorous and comprehensive assessment and by third party SCS Global Services was worth it.
The key new measures employed to achieve the certification include protection of old-growth stands, retaining an average of 27 percent of the standing trees in harvested units, and consulting with Native American communities. Consistent with the company’s federally-approved Habitat Conservation Plans, many trees are now retained in each harvest unit to maintain and enhance complex habitat elements that benefit numerous wildlife species inhabiting redwood forests. This new approach to harvest enhances habitat conservation by assuring that crucial and unique habitat elements remain on the landscape over time. Certification also requires ongoing improvements and annual surveillance audits.
With 70% of redwood lumber now certified to FSC standards, it’s easier for all consumers to make more forest-friendly purchases. But how do you ensure an environmentally sound choice when you’re looking for lumber? California Redwood says they usually brand their logo at the ends of lumber, and that you can ask the retailer where the lumber is coming from. Speak up, ask questions, and keep voting with your dollars. After all, as a consumer—you hold the power!
© 2013 SCGH, LLC.