It is so easy to take our vast natural resources for granted. At Canfor we appreciate National Forest Week — Sept. 22 to 28 — because it gives us a chance to pause and reflect on the many benefits we receive from our vast forest resources.
Every year, National Forest Week reminds us how much we all rely on our forests. Canfor is one of the world’s largest forest products manufacturers, and we know our company’s current and future success depends on our commitment to managing forests sustainably.
This is a special year because we are celebrating our 75th anniversary. And as we look back on 75 years of success and to the bright future ahead for our company and our industry, National Forest Week lets us recognize the amazing forests and the skilled people who have made it possible for us to reach this milestone.
Canada’s forests have a big part to play in providing for our expanding world. Canfor’s quality wood, pulp and paper products offer a truly sustainable option to meet people’s needs — and the world is taking notice.
That’s good news because when customers choose products made in efficient, modern facilities with wood fibre from well-managed forests, the world’s forests win. Canfor is proud to supply our customers around the globe with products they can trust come from responsible operations. There is a role for wood to improve the environmental performance of almost every project — whether it is a single family wood-frame home in Vancouver or a hybrid concrete-wood institutional structure in China. Wood use offers a rare opportunity to truly do more with less and, as recognition grows, so too does the demand for our products.
As global populations grow, governments are looking for ways to meet the needs of their people in a way that is affordable, renewable and safe — and wood products certainly meet all three criteria. B.C. lumber, pulp and paper products are shipping across North America and across the Pacific to fill these needs already, and that’s good news for our future in British Columbia.
And while our thriving forest products industry meets needs around the world, here in Canada it opens doors for young people and families to create rewarding lifestyles in some of the best communities in the country.
The industry has changed over time — today we offer a variety of professional positions and skilled trade opportunities for talented men and women. Our biologists, professional foresters and nursery specialists help us manage forests sustainably; our engineers, millwrights and mechanics run our modern, highly capitalized mills.
We are proud of the high standards we’ve put in place over the last decade. This includes third-party certification of our forest operations and our mills. Certification offers independent evidence that, among other things, we are replanting forests promptly, supporting robust measures to protect wildlife habitat and diversity, and conserving recreation opportunities for our communities. Canfor is one of the few companies in the world able to offer products certified under all three of the major certification programs in North America — the Canadian Standards Association, the Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. We are proud of our commitment to forest certification, and the opportunities it provides for the public to participate in and understand how we manage our forestlands.
Innovation is leading the forest industry into the future, as leaps in technology and new ways of thinking allow us to make more out of less, cut down on waste, and convert wood by-products into clean-burning biofuel.
At Canfor, we make the best use of every tree we harvest — turning virtually all of our fibre into useful products. We are reducing our carbon footprint by using wood residuals to fuel and heat our operations and by decreasing our overall energy consumption. Our pulp and paper operations generate green energy from biomass and provide surplus energy to the power grid.
These are the first steps forward as we continue to be more sustainable, more adaptable, and more resilient to changes in our forests and in the world economy.
Canadian forests build our homes, provide jobs in our communities, store carbon from our atmosphere, and are naturally renewable — so they’ll continue doing all that and more for generations to come. This National Forest Week, take a moment to appreciate our gifted place among the greenest forests in the world.
Don Kayne is president and CEO of Canfor.
c/o source: vancouversun.com