Greenwashing complaint filed against Canada’s biggest certifier of sustainable forestry & More Trending News


By Natasha Bulowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Canadian environmental teams have levelled one other greenwashing complaint — this time on the largest certification scheme for sustainable forestry in North America.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certifies 115 million hectares of forest inside Canada’s borders for corporations.

In a complaint filed to Competition Bureau Canada, environmental teams allege the SFI’s claims of sustainability are “false and misleading” as a result of it has “no rules requiring that logging meet prescribed sustainability criteria nor any on-the-ground assessment to confirm sustainability.”

“The misrepresentations made by the SFI have contributed and continue to contribute to unsustainable logging globally and in Canada on an immense scale,” in accordance with the complaint filed Dec. 1 by Ecojustice.

The environmental legislation charity filed the complaint on behalf of eight environmental organizations together with Greenpeace Canada, Wildlands League, David Suzuki Foundation and Ecology Action Centre. The bureau has but to determine whether or not to open an inquiry.

“We welcome any scrutiny into our program and are positioned well to address any issues,” SFI’s senior vice-president of buyer affairs, Jason Metnick, stated in an electronic mail to Canada’s National Observer.

“At the heart of this inquiry is whether SFI’s standards require outcomes-based impact to make sustainability statements. The answer is absolutely yes,” Metnick’s assertion reads.

The complaint says in any other case. When individuals go to a ironmongery store and see wooden merchandise like lumber with the SFI’s leaf-like certification image, it implies the wooden was logged in a sustainable method that conserves the ecological steadiness of a forest by attempting to not deplete it, stated Devon Page, govt director of Ecojustice. However, logging corporations will not be examined to make sure the result of their operations is sustainable with a purpose to get that image — SFI certifies a course of, not the precise end result, he stated.

In response, Metnick pointed to SFI’s annual audits, that are performed by third-party certification our bodies.

SFI certification is a “management systems-based standard,” which means corporations should comply with their processes to some extent to be licensed, in accordance with the complaint. To guarantee sustainable forestry is the result of these processes, you want a “performance-based standard,” which requires corporations to attain outcomes with a purpose to get the sustainable forestry stamp of approval, it reads.

Some forests additionally merely aren’t renewable, stated Page, pointing to 300-year-old forests whose ecosystems enable for species in danger to outlive — just like the marbled murrelet, a small north Pacific seabird that nests within the tops of old-growth bushes. Canada’s rapidly declining forests are largely logged to burn for gas or to create short-lived paper merchandise and at the moment are including extra planet-warming carbon dioxide to the environment than they take away, in accordance with evaluation by Canada’s National Observer columnist Barry Saxifrage.

B.C. Premier David Eby not too long ago warned “short-term thinking” on land administration has “exhausted” forests. There is an “inescapable recognition … that change is needed to ensure our forest industry is sustainable,” Eby wrote within the mandate letter for brand spanking new Forests Minister Bruce Ralston.

The BC NDP is lagging on commitments it made to deal with logging of the province’s old-growth forests greater than two years in the past, environmental teams say.

“When you log the trees, you lose the species, you lose the ecosystem, it’s lost,” stated Page. “What we’re watching is a lack of sustainable logging generally and massive over-logging in Canada, while concurrently, industry is championing this logo that said it was sustainable.”

Earlier this month, a leaked letter from Canada’s ambassador to the European Union, Ailish Campbell, revealed Canada’s makes an attempt to water down proposed EU forestry commerce laws that might eradicate unsustainably sourced wooden merchandise from the market, The Guardian reported.

Page expects the Competition Bureau to determine within the subsequent couple months whether or not it’ll open an inquiry into Ecojustice’s complaint. The bureau not too long ago opened inquiries into the Canadian Gas Association and RBC for greenwashing allegations. In January, the bureau ordered Keurig Canada to pay $3 million for deceptive customers in regards to the recyclability of its single-use espresso pods. As half of the settlement, Keurig Canada additionally needed to change its recyclable claims and the packaging of its Okay-Cup pods.

— With recordsdata from The Canadian Press

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Greenwashing complaint filed against Canada’s biggest certifier of sustainable forestry

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Greenwashing complaint filed against Canada’s biggest certifier of sustainable forestry

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