Forest Stewardship Council™ certification service

Press release - 5th April 2012

BSI Group Japan K.K. (Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Naoyuki Takeo) has formed an operational tie-up with the international sustainable development organization Rainforest Alliance (New York, USA, Chairperson: Daniel R. Katz) for certification services under the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification system.

For 25 years the Rainforest Alliance has developed and promoted sustainability standards in agriculture, forestry, tourism and more recently carbon. As a founding member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) the Rainforest Alliance has helped to pioneer standards for responsible forestry management designed to prevent the indiscriminate consumption of forest resources and illegal logging, and to maintain and use forests responsibly.

By launching the FSC certification service, BSI Japan aims to broaden its contribution to society through “third-party certification services” with this tie-up with Rainforest Alliance, an organization with extensive achievements in forest conservation. Of FSC’s certifications, our company provides a service for receiving CoC (chain of custody) certification for the management of process / distribution operations in the tracking of FSC certified products.

It is said that about 13 million hectares of natural forest area was lost between 2000 and 2005, equivalent to one third of the land in Japan *1. The loss of forests not only decreases the number of wildlife that inhabit them, but it also takes away bread and butter from many people who are variously involved with or live in the forests. In addition, the global environment is also significantly affected by the loss of forests.

Direct causes of forest loss and deterioration include logging for the purpose of building homes (for agriculture and residency), improper forest management / trading, influence of industries (including the development of mines), and air pollution. However, various fundamental causes, such as population increase, poverty, mass consumption, and land ownership systems are behind the problems, and they have actually become intricately intertwined.

Commercial logging has become a major threat, as it targets forests with rich biodiversity to obtain a large volume of high quality materials. To fight the deforestation, it is indispensable not only to set up protected areas, but also to implement “proper forest management” to supply resources while maintaining and improving forest quality. The FSC certification system was launched to ensure and recognize responsible forestry practices.

The FSC certification system aims to promote environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable forest management through the confirmation and certification by independent third-party organizations of the implementation of responsible forest management.

There are two types of FSC certifications: FM (Forest Management) certification and CoC (Chain of Custody) certification. FM (Forest Management) certification certifies responsible “forest management” and is designed to be granted to forestry-related organizations that manage forests.

CoC certification certifies “chain of custody (process and distribution)” of forest products produced from FM certified forests and other responsible sources. This certification ensures the management of the system, in which end products use FSC certified wood / paper products. The certification is designed to be granted to sawmills, lumber wholesalers, wood product processing plants, constructors, paper manufacturers, paper wholesalers, printing companies, publishers, etc. Once the ownership of a product is transferred to a non-FSC CoC certified organization, the product cannot be handled as a FSC certified product.

Certification status in the FSC certification system (as of December 2011):

- FM certification
1,074 locations in 80 countries in the world, total certified area of 147,831,804 hectares
33 locations in Japan, total certified area of 387,272 hectares

- CoC certification
21,879 certified organizations in 106 countries in the world, 1,130 in Japan
By country, Japan ranks seventh after the U.S. (3,714 organizations), U.K. (2,206 organizations), China (1,827 organizations), Germany (1,667 organizations), the Netherlands (1,234 organizations), and Italy (1,154 organizations).