Back to Home

Sustainable Forest Certification Gives Consumers Confidence

Drone image of forest with tree-shaped lake superimposed. Sustainable forest certification on paper and packaging is a reassuring sign for earth-conscious consumers.

Sustainable forest certification on paper and packaging is a reassuring sign for earth-conscious consumers. This certification means the manufacturing process won’t threaten the long-term health of forests.

Wood is one of our greatest renewable resources, so it’s important that creating pulp and paper doesn’t contribute to widespread deforestation in North America. Fortunately, net forest area in the U.S. has increased over the past three decades, and remained stable in Canada.

Sustainable forest certification is an important tool for ensuring responsible harvesting and manufacturing. That’s why we were early supporters of using third-party certification that ensures wood is responsibly sourced. Supply chain transparency offered by certification has existed for nearly 30 years — far longer than similar standards for other commodities.

What does sustainable forest certification mean?

“Forest certification is a voluntary program that ensures specific standards are met when harvesting wood fiber,” says Dan Wernick, a senior buyer in wood procurement for Domtar. “Beyond the forest, it also sets requirements for production and distribution to track certified fiber through the supply chain.”

Independent third parties administer regular audits to ensure manufacturers follow all required practices. And only after companies pass these rigorous tests can they display the forest certification’s product label.

A recent survey found that 64 percent of consumers expect sustainability claims will be certified by a trustworthy independent organization.

The three main forest certification standards used in North America are:

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®)

Founded in 1993, FSC is an independent nonprofit organization that protects forests for future generations.

Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®)

Developed in 1995, SFI is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides supply chain assurances, delivers conservation leadership, and supports environmental education and community engagement.

Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™)

Founded in 1999, PEFC is a leading global alliance of national forest certification systems dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management through independent third-party certification.

At Domtar, we recognize these three certifications, and our goal is to source 100 percent of our fiber from responsibly managed forests. We’re proud we’ve consistently increased the amount of certified wood fiber used to produce pulp and paper. We met 41 percent of our fiber needs with certified wood in 2020, and 19 percent of our total fiber came from FSC-certified sources.

Sustainable forest certification for landowners

With help from our forestry partners, Domtar continues to educate landowners about certification. We offer resources to increase the volume of certified fiber available for sourcing.

Learn more about Domtar’s forest certifications here.