Since beginning operations in 1993, Alberta-Pacific has prided itself on being a world leader for its forest management practices as well as its economic and social contributions. These efforts were validated in September 2005, when the company achieved Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification.
The certification of 5.3 million hectares (13.0 million acres) of Al-Pac’s Forest Management Agreement (FMA) area represents the largest FSC-certified forest in the world. Following the FSC (2004) Policy the excision of areas from the scope of certification (FSC-Pol-20-003 (version 1-0)) Al-Pac excised a variety of energy sector facilities and infrastructure from the scope of the certification.
FSC is an international, not-for-profit, membership-based organization whose mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests. Rainforest Alliance, an accredited FSC certifier, assessed Al-Pac against the FSC Northern Boreal Standard, a strict set of ten principles and 56 criteria with many indicators and verifiers that reflect the conditions in Canada’s boreal forest. Rainforest Alliance assessed Al-Pac’s operations against the following ten principles:
- Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles
- Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities
- Indigenous People’s Rights
- Community Relations and Workers Rights
- Benefits from the Forest
- Environmental Impact
- Management Plan
- Monitoring and Assessment
- High Conservation Value Forests
More information on FSC, including their principles and criteria, is available on their website at https://cafsc.org/
FSC in the Marketplace
FSC is highly regarded in the global marketplace where Al-Pac sells its kraft pulp and is endorsed by environmental groups including, The Sierra Club, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund.
Many customers around the world are introducing FSC-certified paper and seeking suppliers of FSC-certified kraft pulp to meet growing consumer demand for environmentally responsible products. Al-Pac also achieved Chain of Custody (CoC) certification. The FSC CoC standard focuses on tracking forest fibre through the supply chain; this allows pulp customers and paper consumers to track a product from the shelf back to the forest, confirming that the product originates either from a certified responsible source or a company controlled source.
Companies, who use FSC-certified pulp and are Chain of Custody certified, can affix the FSC logo to their finished products to demonstrate to consumers that they support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.
Communities and the Environment
FSC certification provides assurance that Al-Pac is operating in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Al-Pac’s socially responsible operations include involving communities in forest management planning, such as the companies Landscape Advisory Group, supporting communities through employment and contracts and understanding and respecting Aboriginal values of the forest.
Al-Pac’s environmentally responsible operations include implementing an ecosystem management system to maintain biodiversity, a commitment to set aside more than 200,000 hectares of forest to serve as ecological benchmark areas, maintaining Forest Management certification to the FSC Canada National Boreal Standard.
In Al-Pac’s 2005 FSC Final report Rainforest Alliance, Al-Pac’s third-party auditor, acknowledged several positive activities taking place within Al-Pac’s practices. The audit also helped identify areas that the company will address as part of its Continuous Improvement Process. The report identified 23 conditions for which Al-Pac has successfully addressed and closed. For details of the 2005 Summary Report, click here.
Since 2005, annual surveillance audits have been conducted to the FSC Canada National Boreal Standard, FSC Chain of Custody Standard and FSC Controlled Wood Standard. These surveillance audits evaluate Al-Pac’s operations and conformance to the various standards and highlight areas in which Al-Pac can make improvements. To view the annual Public Summary Reports, click here and select "Reports".
Al-Pac, with the Rainforest Alliance, completed a five-year reassessment audit in February of 2010. A final report on the audit a five-year certification, expiring in 2015, was issued in September 2010. Our company will continue to meet our continuous improvement goals through annual surveillance audits conducted by Rainforest Alliance.