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GreenLink Forest Stewards. An Introduction to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Group Certification. How did Forest Certification Get Started?. 1941 - Idea of the Weyerhauser Family of Washington State – 120,000 acre tract to study fire suppression, sustained yield.

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greenlink forest stewards

GreenLink Forest Stewards

An Introduction to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Group Certification

how did forest certification get started
How did Forest Certification Get Started?

1941 - Idea of the Weyerhauser Family of Washington State – 120,000 acre tract to study fire suppression, sustained yield.

Eventually developed into American Tree Farm system. Dual threats of Fire and Unfair Taxation.

Underfunding and lack of national standards hindered the program until recently.

Today there are approximately 90,000 tree farmers and 26 million acres certified.

what has changed in our lifetime
What Has Changed in Our Lifetime?

Wealth effect --- Affluence allows one to be concerned about things other than filling one’s stomach.

Health effect --- Concern about where the products we consume come from. In other words, organic food movement has now also become organic wood.

Population effect --- Concern about whether our planet can sustainably support continued population growth; what will be the impacts on the overall environment and aesthetic qualities of life.

why should we care
Why Should We Care?

Sustainability is a ‘Mega Trend’ for this century.

Product Sourcing (Where, How, Who) is a very real concern for the more affluent segment of the consumer segment.

Production to ‘Global Standards’ now occurs in every segment of the world marketplace.

Southern foresters and landowners must adapt or our wood products companies and therefore landowners will get left behind by other areas of the world who do ‘play the game’.

green trends
Green Trends
  • 2012 NAHB (Home Builders) Convention in Orlando released report that Green Building will grow from 17% (2011) to 29% -38% by 2016. From 17 billion dollars to 87-114 billion by 2016.
  • 34% of all remodeling will be green by 2016.
  • ‘Green’ builders report that 46% find it easier to market themselves during this recession.

October 10, 2011

Kimberly-Clark Becomes First U.S. Branded Consumer Tissue Maker to Adopt Forest Stewardship Council's Sustainable Fiber Sourcing Standards

Kleenex and Scott Naturals Brand Consumer Products Carry FSC Label

DALLAS, October 10, 2011-Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE: KMB) today announced it is the first U.S. tissue maker to offer branded consumer tissue products that meet the rigorous sustainable sourcing requirements of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Kimberly-Clark's Kleenex brand facial tissue and Scott Naturals brand products sold in North America now include fiber sourced from suppliers who have been independently certified to follow the highest standards in forestry management while also protecting high conservation-value forests and habitat. Consumers can now identify FSC-certified Kleenex and Scott brand products by the FSC label on every package.

"This action is a major milestone in K-C's sustainability journey and a significant step forward in the consumer adoption of FSC-certified fiber for bathroom tissue, facial tissue and paper towels," said Suhas Apte, vice president - global sustainability. "K-C's commitment to FSC certification for its Kleenex and Scott Naturals brands will grow the demand for sustainably sourced fiber and will encourage more suppliers to practice responsible forest management."

who is the forest stewardship council fsc
Who is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)?
  • Established in 1993 in response to concerns about global deforestation especially tropical hardwoods.
  • World Wildlife Fund (UK) unhappiness with the Earth Summit of 1992 in Rio.
  • Disappointment with world wide governments to reach consensus led to an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit type structure.
  • Worldwide with a Democratic structured General Assembly. (Environmental, Social, Economic chambers, equal representation between Northern & Southern Hemispheres)
  • FSC has few employees. It sets standards and authorizes certifiers. Landowners hires Certifiers or 3rd Party Auditors.
  • 361 million acres certified worldwide.
what do all certification schemes have in common
What do All Certification Schemes have in Common?

Standards for judging sustainable forest management.

All have some form of independent audit process or third-party audit.

All have a chain-of-custody (COC) process or Forest Management ‘Number’ so that consumers can be assured that their wood products come from a ‘certified’ and therefore sustainable forest.

All have now adopted ‘social’ standards including those related to labor.

All cost money, take time and require extensive paperwork.

structural differences between fsc vs sfi pefc
Structural Differences Between FSC vs. SFI (PEFC)

The people ‘behind the scenes’ for each certifying scheme. ( environmental groups (FSC) vs. industry groups (SFI) or hardwood industry (FSC) vs. softwood industry (SFI)

Focus of the standards (social FSC vs. industrial forestry SFI, natural forests FSC vs. plantation SFI)

Brand recognition, what is the marketplace asking for.

basic differences fsc versus tree farm or sfi
Basic Differences: FSC Versus Tree Farm or SFI

Because FSC was developed with the third-world tropical forests in mind, it places more emphasis on the social aspects of forest management. Ie. outside stakeholders, benefits to the community, labor.

Monitoring is a major component of the FSC system.

Proof of sustainability, ie. allowable cut determination and implementation is very important. Volumes grown and harvested must be reported.

Plantation forestry is ‘tricky’ with FSC, covertype conversion not allowed in most cases.

certification pathways
FSC (Worldwide)

PEFC (Worldwide)

SFI (North America)

ATFS ( United States)

Certification Pathways
why fsc certification
Why FSC Certification?
  • Our region’s paper mills need FSC certified fiber to maintain market share. FSC is unique from SFI with FSC holding a 4 to 1 advantage in marketplace.
  • Brand identification for forest commodity products. GreenLink’s certifying body is Smartwood (Rainforest Alliance) so FSC and RA trademarks are available.
  • FSC is a worldwide recognized forest stewardship standard, particularly by conservation groups.
  • Independent 3rd party audits assure landowners that their property is well-managed, provides strong back-up for land managers.
  • Certification can be useful for conservation easements or entering new markets such as carbon credits.
the power of branding
The Power of Branding
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
  • Rainforest Alliance ‘Smartwood Program’
what is greenlink
What is GreenLink?
  • GreenLink Forest Resources LLC was founded by Chester Kearse Jr. to serve as the group entity or group manager for the GreenLink Forest Stewards Group, a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified group.
  • The GreenLink Forest Stewards group offers cost effective FSC certification and chain-of-custody for small and medium size landowners.
  • GreenLink offers truly ‘independent’ FSC Group Certification because there is no direct affiliation whatsoever with any industry, conservation, or forestland management organization.
why group certification
Why Group Certification?
  • Because of the cost to hire third-party auditors, group membership is the only cost effective means for a small landowner to become certified
  • The group manager and his personnel are available to offer advice and make recommendations to aid in compliance with FSC principles and criteria.
  • Recordkeeping and auditing is managed at the group level saving landowners/managers time.
  • Potential exists in marketing efforts as the ‘GreenLink Forest Stewards Group’ that is part of the ‘Smartwood’ program.
can your lands qualify for fsc yes no
If you manage for the long term.

If you have professional maps and planning.

If your lands have diversity of cover types and ages.

If you keep good records.

If you do not mind change, new thinking.

If you like to cut and get out.

If you fly by the seat of your pants.

If you like to clearcut tracts wall to wall and plant pine everywhere.

If you hate to document what you do.

If you think mgmt. standards are pointless.

Can Your Lands Qualify for FSC?YesNo
how does greenlink function
How does GreenLink Function?
  • GreenLink Forest Resources LLC is Group Manager and FSC Group Certificate holder. (SW-FM/COC 005677)
  • Group manager acts only as the gatekeeper or liaison with the Certifying Body (Smartwood) and FSC.
  • Landowner and/or resource professional are responsible for their own individual forestland management.
  • Group manager informs, advises, and inspects to make sure standards are being met by landowners.
  • Group manager maintains the group records, pays for audits and provides the chain-of-custody to the members of the GreenLink Forest Stewards Group.
what does membership cost
What does membership cost?
  • One time initial enrollment, assessment and certification fee of $1.00 per ‘forested’ acre.
  • Annual management fee (currently $.35/acre) that is fixed for a five-year period following enrollment.
  • Example: 650 acre tract has a GIS map showing 600 acres of timberland and 50 acres of fields, pond and cabin. Therefore 600 acres are FSC certified.

Year 1 – 600 acres X $1.35/acre = $810

Year 2 – 600 acres X $.35/acre = $210

Year 3 – 600 acres X $.35/acre = $210

Year 4 – 600 acres X $.35/acre = $210

Year 5 – 600 acres X $.35/acre = $210

Total Cost over first 5 years =$1,650/5yrs/600ac.

Average Annual Cost =$.55/acre/year

what benefits does a landowner receive
What Benefits does a Landowner Receive?
  • Inexpensive FSC Chain-of-Custody certification; may or may not command a premium in the marketplace.
  • Detailed record keeping archive by GreenLink. Harvest monitoring and management activity reports required yearly.
  • Third-party review by GreenLink personnel and independent FSC auditors; continuous improvement and peer reviewed back-up for land managers that is strictly confidential.
  • Access to a region specific forest management reference document that smaller landowners can refer to for detailed information regarding topics such as growth & yield, integrated pest management, silvicultural procedures, BMP’s, soil type determination, as examples.
fsc has 10 principles of forest stewardship versus tree farm s 8 standards of sustainability

Compliance with Laws, FSC

Tenure & Use Rights

Indigenous People’s Rights

Community Relations, Workers Rights

Benefits from the Forest

Environmental Impact

Management Plan

Monitoring & Assessment

Maintenance of HCVF


Tree farm

Commitment to Sustainable Forestry

Compliance with Laws

Reforestation & Afforestation

Air, Water, and Soil Protection

Fish, Wildlife and Biodiversity

Protection of Biological Biodiversity

Protection of Special Sites

Forest Aesthetics

FSC has 10 Principles of Forest Stewardship versus Tree Farm’s 8 Standards of Sustainability
how are the fsc principles analyzed for compliance
How are the FSC Principles analyzed for compliance?
  • Each Principle has numerous criteria that are used to judge whether a Principle is being met.
  • For each criterion, then there are indicators or specific variables that tell whether a criterion is met in a regional context and that also specifically states desired management outcomes.
  • Finally a verifier is an example of a way in which a forest management condition can be assessed to determine whether an indicator has been met.
example of a principle being met
Example of a Principle being met.
  • Principle #5 – Benefits from the Forest(Forest Management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forests multiple products and services to ensure economic viability and a wide range of environmental & social benefits.) Focus is on making efficient use of harvested resources and maintaining the capacity of the forest to provide long-term economic, social and environmental benefits.
  • Criterion 5.6 – The rate of harvest of forest products shall not exceed levels which can be permanently sustained.
  • Indicator 5.6a – Sustained Yield harvest level documented in management plan. Verifier – Mgmt plan, is info correct?
  • Indicator 5.6b – Average annual harvest levels, over 10 year rolling periods, do not exceed calculated sustained yield. Verifier – Audit of yearly activity reports to calculate harvest levels.
what landowners does greenlink serve
What Landowners Does GreenLink Serve?
  • GreenLink is approved to operate in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
  • GreenLink is divided into 2 subsets for auditing and management purposes. 1) Small Family Forests <1000 ha (2470acres) and 2) Large Landowner subset, 2470 acres up to 20,000 acres.
  • Only ‘forested’ acres are certified on a property and each legal entity is considered a unique forest.
  • All forms of private ownership are eligible.
  • The forest must be a ‘working’ forest.
  • GreenLink reserves the exclusive right to determine membership.
what does the group manager do
What Does the Group Manager Do?
  • Organizes and maintains the Group to FSC standards
  • Develops and maintains the procedures for Group operation.
  • Maintains the records of the group and specifically archives the monitoring reports of individual members.
  • Assists and trains landowners and their forestry professionals with compliance issues.
  • Arranges and pays for third-party audits, group certification.
  • Assists in broad marketing efforts for the group.
  • Monitors individual group member’s compliance.
what are the landowner responsibilities
What are the Landowner Responsibilities?
  • Manage his/her property to FSC standards.
  • Contact the Group Manager for clarification if uncertainties arise about the appropriateness of a forest management practice.
  • Make their property and forest management records (non-proprietary information only) available to GreenLink and/or third-party auditor(s).
  • Sign required membership participation documents.
  • Remit membership fees in a timely manner.
  • Assess and formally report management activities on at least a yearly basis.
things you must know about fsc group certification
Things you must know about FSC Group Certification
  • FSC Principles
  • Audit Process
  • Management Plan requirements
  • Monitoring requirements
  • Chain-of-Custody requirements
  • Leaving the Group
  • Corrective Action Request Process (CAR)
  • Suspension or Expulsion
  • Complaints Process
audit process
Audit Process
  • Auditing for compliance is the key aspect of any forest certification scheme.
  • Forest Stewardship Council sets out Principles and Criteria while independent certifying bodies approved by FSC actually perform the auditing. GreenLink uses Smartwood.
  • You must allow GreenLink and Smartwood access to your property for audit inspections.
  • Properties selected for audit in the GreenLink Forest Stewards Group for a particular year are random and based on a statistical sampling model.
  • Information collected during an audit is strictly confidential and auditors or GreenLink personnel have no legal rights or jurisdiction over a landowner whatsoever.
management plan requirements appropriate to scale
Management Plan Requirements(Appropriate to Scale)
  • Management Objectives
  • Description of forest resources; land use and ownership status, socio-economic conditions, profile of adjacent lands
  • Detailed stand maps including protected sites.
  • Calculation of growth, annual harvest rates, species selection
  • Silvicultural systems and harvest method justification.
  • Provisions for monitoring growth and activities.
  • Environmental safeguards required, ex. BMP’s.
  • Plans for identifying and protecting rare,threatened or endangered species. Also protection of cultural sites.
monitoring requirements
Monitoring Requirements

Internal Group Monitoring vs. Property Level Reporting

  • Internal Group Monitoring is conducted by GreenLink personnel to verify compliance, educate and advise, so that potential problems are avoided during the formal audit process. Large Landowners are visited yearly while the smallest landowners will be visited at least once over a 3 year period.
  • Property level monitoring and reporting is done by Landowners or their Forestry Professionals. A yearly forest activities report is required and a harvest report/checklist must be filed with GreenLink after each individual harvest operation.
chain of custody
Chain - of - Custody
  • Chain-of-Custody (COC) refers to the process of tracking forest products from individual forests into the production process so that end-users can be assured the wood products they purchase are from sustainable, ‘certifed’ forests.
  • You will be entitled to use the GreenLink Forest Stewards (COC) number.
  • However, you must follow exactly the rules involving contracts and/or purchase orders as outlined in the GreenLink Member Handbook to assure the integrity of the process.
what if you are interested
What If You Are Interested?
  • Understanding this presentation is Step #1, ask questions !!!!
  • Show you can meet the pre-enrollment criteria including a management plan that meets FSC requirements.
  • Review the GreenLink Handbook; understand and ask more questions about how the group operates.
  • Finally, there is an on-the-ground inspection of the property by the GreenLink Group Manager to assess eligibility before sign-up.
in summary
In Summary
  • If you are a good Land Steward, do not mind paperwork, and would like peer review of your forest management, then FSC certification may be something to consider.
  • It seems to be the way the world is going and our paper companies need to source more and more FSC wood fiber in a region with little currently available.
  • GreenLink Forest Stewards offers a cost effective and independent way to obtain FSC certification.