WHY YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT FORESTS
As an ecotourism operator, looking after the natural environment is part of your DNA. But looking after the environment goes beyond separating your rubbish and riding a bicycle to work – it is also about the companies and organisations you partner with, and about understanding what impacts are occurring along the tourism supply chain.
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is a global not-for-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible forest management around the world. Their certified paper, timber and office supplies are used by businesses and world leading environmental NGOs such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) alike.
With a mission to keep forests for future generations, FSC promotes environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world's forests through stringent certification processes:
“Many timber and paper suppliers will tell you that their supplies are from ‘sustainable’ or ‘managed’ sources, or from plantations.” explains Sara Gipton, FSC Australia CEO.
“[However], without an independent certification system, there is often no way of checking this. The FSC system requires third party verification, so you can be guaranteed FSC certified products have been traced back through the supply chain and come from responsible sources.”
So why is responsible forest stewardship important?
Well firstly, forests cover 30% of the world’s land area, and are home to 70% of all terrestrial animals and plants. Currently, the world’s forests store 283 billion tonnes of carbon in their biomass, with deforestation being the second leading cause of carbon pollution, contributing 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
So what can you do?
Whilst it may seem like an issue that is too great for one business to have an impact on, Ms Gipton says there are easy things that Ecotourism Australia’s certified operators can do to make a positive difference:
1. Buy paper and office supplies that are FSC certified.
If one of your new year resolutions is to make more ethical purchases, a great way to start is by choosing FSC certified office materials such as paper, books, diaries or calendars. Buying FSC certified materials supports responsible management of our planet's resources, because they will come from either recycled sources or well-managed forests. Officeworks and Staples carry big office supply ranges that have the FSC green tick
2. Choose an FSC certified printer for your marketing materials.
Certified printers are required to undergo an audit so that they can guarantee customers the products they print are FSC certified.Only FSC certified printers can provide this guarantee and allow you to put the FSC label on your printed collateral. See a list of certified printers here and remember to ask for the FSC label to be on your marketing materials.
For more information on FSC, you can visit their website, read this great article or watch this video.