FSC, GECA? What is Sustainability in timber?

We all care about the impact we have on the planet and want to do the right thing through our purchasing decisions. We know how important it is to make sure products or services we bring into our homes and offices are healthy and safe for our families and colleagues, while also minimizing the environmental impact of our choices.
Many businesses have realized how crucial their role in this is and have taken steps to improve their products and/or services by making them more sustainable. Through choosing GECA certified products you are helping yourself and supporting those businesses that are doing the right thing.

Forests occupy a special place in the heart of those who love the outdoors. In addition to their beauty and recreational value, forests play a critical role in the health of global ecosystems. Forests provide an important habitat for wildlife, promote clean water, prevent soil erosion and mitigate the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Forests also provide materials that are used in many everyday products. In addition to wood and paper, many other materials—including natural rubber and man-made cellulosic fibers such as lyocell and modal (used to make apparel and textile-based products)—also come from forests.

Forests that are managed responsibly can, in theory, provide these materials indefinitely. If the rate of harvesting these materials does not exceed the rate at which the forest can regenerate, and harvesting is done in a way that allows forests to continue to play their role in ecosystem health, then forests can be a reliable and sustainable source of raw materials.

What is FSC?

Founded in 1994, FSC has grown to become the worlds’ most respected and widespread forest certification system. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international, non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.

The FSC confirms that the forest is being managed in a way that preserves biological diversity and benefits the lives of local people and workers, while ensuring it sustains economic viability. FSC-certified forests are managed to strict environmental, social and economical standards. There are ten principles that any forest operation must adhere to before it can receive FSC forest management certification. These principles cover a broad variety of issues ranging from maintaining high conservation values to community relations and workers’ rights, as well as monitoring the environmental and social impacts of the forest management.

What is GECA?

The Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) runs Australia’s only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector ecolabelling program.

Their transparent certification program develops standards against which products and services can be independently audited by JAS-ANZ accredited conformance assessment bodies (CABs). Standards are developed following ISO 14024 principles for global best practice in ecolabelling.

GECA’s scheme enables consumers to choose from thousands of certified products and services and have confidence that they have a lower impact on the environment and human health and address important social considerations. They have more Australian products certified than any other scheme.