ENVIRONMENT: ECO-CERTIFICATION A LOOMING ISSUE

Pulp & Paper Canada
December 31, 1998
By Pulp & Paper Canada
VANCOUVER, BC -- Four volunteers, a professional forester, an ecologist, a geologist and a woodland owner, are putting together a first draft of a BC-specific criteria for the Forest Stewardship Council. The first draft is anxiously awaited by Vancouver-based Western Forest Products Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Doman Industries Ltd. of Duncan, BC. Western has asked the council to certify that the company logs in an environmentally friendly manner. The company is gambling that council certification will protect Western from boycotts organized by European environmentalists. The threat is real. For instance, environmental juggernauts like Greenpeace have been campaigning aggressively against the practices of BC forest companies, particularly their logging of old growth forests. A consortium of about 90 lumber sellers in Britain, for example, say in 1999 they will refuse to sell products from companies that fail to seek certification. Eco-certification, as the issue has come to be known, has become a hot topic in forest industry circles.

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