Columbia Forest Products relies on the vitality of North American timber resources, so naturally we are committed to responsible forestry practices, including third-party certification, maintaining a forestry management team and supporting sustainable forestry.
North America is rich with forestland that Columbia employee owners cherish for natural beauty and as a source of our society’s most renewable building material: wood. The public recognizes there are environmental, social and economic concerns that accompany forestland management and use. Columbia Forest Products is committed to the support of sustainable and responsible forestry practices in order to meet the needs of our current and future generations.
Collectively, the people at Columbia appreciate forests for values they provide: fresh water, aesthetic beauty, carbon sequestration, and natural wildlife habitat within verdant ecosystems which help regulate the earth’s climate. Forests also represent a store of renewable value upon which families and forest dependent communities draw vitality. This includes aboriginal cultures which possess a unique connection with forested landscapes they dwell near or within.
We understand forested landscapes must be protected to maintain the natural health and vitality of our nation and the people who live in it.
Columbia promotes responsible forestland stewardship.
Columbia recognizes the critical role of forest ecosystem services and its responsibility to ensure the forest resource is responsibly managed, expanded if possible and, in aggregate, maintained in perpetuity. When Columbia management chose the Forest Stewardship Council™ chain-of-custody certification in 1998, it made a commitment to offer the choice of a third party chain-of-custody certified alternative to the marketplace within a labeled recognition system consumers could understand.
Columbia encourages its customers and ultimate end users to value protection of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity by ordering panel products with the FSC® ecolabel. Purchasing wood which bears the FSC ecolabel is a vote for the rigorous forest stewardship principles and criteria Columbia is committed to meeting within its audited forest management and chain-of-custody certifications. Columbia offers a growing percentage of its production as FSC-certified which is available on demand at time a panel order is placed.
Offering FSC-certified products buttress Columbia’s internal effort to avoid illegal wood from entering its supply chain. Columbia was an initial supporter of the Lacey Act amendment which was strengthened to include trees in and since the amendment’s passage has encouraged and supported both academic and environmental non government organization efforts to educate supply chain partners on “due care.” Columbia continues to work within collaborative stakeholder groups, including the Forest Legality Alliance to improve the state of the practice within present systems which track the trade of legal wood globally. Locally sourced timber from landowners Columbia is familiar with helps to ensure our supplies are legally sourced and helps Columbia meet its “due care” requirements under the law.
Columbia values the logs it acquires and has utilized LEAN manufacturing processes which utilize the entire bole. From increasing our efficiencies to peel more veneer from each log, to recycling and using waste wood to power our plants… no part of the log goes unused.
Columbia maximizes the use of tree species which are abundant in the areas where it buys logs. That means Columbia uses species that grow naturally and in great numbers in the region for the bulk of the panel production it offers. This helps ensure no particular species will be over harvested in aggregate. This is why you’ll find our plywood cores consist of poplar in the South, aspen in the North and fir or pine in the West. These are the tree species which are plentiful in those wood baskets where Columbia operates.
Columbia resource choices positions the company to partner with landowners and participate in forest certification. Columbia was one of the first economic chamber converters in the US to be granted a group forest management certificate in 2000. Columbia was also the first decorative hardwood plywood and veneer company certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) chain-of-custody standards by the Rainforest Alliance. Columbia also participates in the Carbon Canopy which is a collaborative project to understand how forestland owners can acquire financial benefit from the carbon stored naturally in managed timberland for the benefit of its clients.
Taking Responsible Forest Management to Market
By offering products which are FSC-certified Columbia has supported the growth of responsible forest management around the globe. FSC-Certified wood must maintain a “chain of custody” which is a documentation trail from the forest to the finished product. That means an FSC-certified cabinet was made from wood that was sourced from an FSC-certified forest and other controlled sources, was milled by an FSC-certified panel manufacturer and fabricated by an FSC-certified craftsman. If any point in the chain is broken, the finished product can no longer be sold with an FSC Logo as FSC-certified. Certification requires regular monitoring and auditing by a third party to ensure system which ensures robust systems are in place to properly track certified, controlled and non-certified materials. Landowners who choose to allow Columbia to include their lands in its FSC FM certificate will support this system of translating responsible forestry to consumers through this tangible labeling program.
People Make the Difference
Columbia’s foresters who are part of our FSC-certified resource management team are a vital element to its responsible forestry strategy. They assure the forest lands Columbia manages will be harvested in a way that meets and in many cases exceeds state best management practices maintaining biological diversity, water resources, soils, wildlife habitats, fragile ecosystems and landscapes. By doing so the integrity of the forest is maintained.
If you own forestland in one of the regions listed below and would like one of Columbia’s foresters to contact you, call or email the appropriate regional contact below. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your forestland management goals and objectives and look forward to lending a helping hand.