Today, with the WRI, we released the third edition of Sustainable Procurement of Wood and Paper-based Products. This guide and resource kit offers solutions that can help businesses of all sizes buy forest products from sustainably managed forests, thereby contributing to improved forest management.
Forests play a critical role for the global environment, population, and economy. The forest-based sector employs 13.7 million workers, with a commercial output of about 1 percent of the global GDP. An estimated 500 million people depend on forests for their livelihoods, while hundreds of thousands of businesses rely on them for fiber and raw materials.
But deforestation causes ecosystem losses valued at about US$ 2-5 trillion annually. Put another way, that equates to 13 million H p.a. (source FAO/WB), which is about same size as Portugal or Belgium.
Businesses and citizens must take action now in order to maintain forests for the future. One such action involves seeking out sustainably produced wood and paper-based goods. This can improve forest management by:
- Shaping markets for wood and paper-based products, including increasing demand for legal and sustainable products;
- Involving local communities in forest management decision and operations and ensuring that local populations receive benefits from the forests; and
- Maintaining environmental and social values associated with local forests.
Developed in consultation with multiple stakeholders, this updated Guide and Resource Kit seeks to promote the demand of sustainably produced wood and paper-based products and support procurement managers in making informed choices by:
- Providing an overview of the context of forests and their management;
- Identifying the most critical issues around the procurement of wood and paper-based products;
- Describing a selection of tools, initiatives, and programs that can help inform and support the development and implementation of sustainable procurement policies and practices; and
- Explaining the maze of terms, which often stand in the way of effective action and communication between suppliers and buyers.
The third edition of this guide incorporates the most up-to-date developments on the legality of forest products, the latest advances in technological and data-management systems to trace and control forest product supply chains, and an expanded overview of the social implications of forest products.
With this update, WRI and WBCSD continue our collaboration to broaden businesses’ understanding of the environmental and social dimensions of sourcing wood and paper-based products. Both large and small businesses need to be proactive in supporting sustainable forest management and reversing deforestation via their procurement practices. This guide will help do just that.
I hope you will enjoy reading the guide, and incorporating it into your business operations.
The full guide resource kit is available online at www.SustainableForestProducts.org.