Forest and Fiber Certification
We recognize that encouraging responsible stewardship is one of the keys to protecting global forestlands and ensuring a sustainable supply of wood fiber for our business needs.
Globally, we follow a Certification Policy and a Responsible Fiber Procurement Policy that address responsible fiber procurement and
forest and fiber certification practices through recognition of credible
third-party standards. These include the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®),
the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), and
national standards recognized by PEFC like the American Tree Farm System®
(ATFS) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) in the U.S. and
Certificacão Florestal (CERFLOR) in Brazil. All of the forestland we lease,
own or manage in Brazil and Russia is certified according to national or
international forest management standards.
More than 90 percent of
International Paper’s fiber supply in the United States comes from privately
owned forests, most of which are small and family-owned. Developing new sources
of third-party-certified fiber is not easy. Landowners can be reluctant to take
on the additional responsibility and costs associated with certifying their
property. Our strategy relies on working directly with suppliers and landowners
to encourage them to make this investment, and we deploy significant resources
in this effort. Professional foresters and wildlife biologists from
International Paper provide technical support to suppliers and landowners on
developing forest management plans required for certification audits.
Third Party Verification
Responsible forest management
and fiber sourcing practices can be verified by third-party certifiers to a
number of independent standards. Third-party experts verify a company's
performance against a set of objectives detailed in the standards. The
following are three types of certifications:
- Forest Management — Certification of the activities of
land management – harvesting to reforestation
- Fiber Procurement — A certification offered by SFI®,
which includes land management as well as the responsible purchasing of timber
and contracting for harvesting and transportation.
- Chain of Custody — Certification that verifies that
policies, systems and procedures are in place to track wood fiber from the
forest, through the manufacturing and converting processes and then to
customers. All of International Paper’s pulp and
paper mills and many of our converting operations are now CoC-certified to one
or more recognized standards.