Now is a great time to supply certified sustainable forest products. Many consumers are willing to pay a premium for them, and the already high demand for these products is likely to grow.
Forest product companies can cash in on this demand by obtaining a chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and/or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). These certifications help you unlock all of the opportunities we detail below.
North American consumers favor buying products that are sustainable and are willing to pay more for them. According to a 2022 study by Greenprint, 66% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products, and 72% of those surveyed rely on labels and third-party certifications to verify that a product is sustainably produced.
The FSC and SFI labels are particularly influential. According to a 2021 study by FSC and GlobeScan, 77% of shoppers who are aware of FSC will choose an FSC product over its non-certified equivalent. Likewise, 76% of consumers favor SFI-labeled paper products over paper products without the SFI label.
Although the FSC standards overall are more rigorous than SFI standards and may carry more weight with very informed buyers, forest product companies can benefit from obtaining either certification or both.
Individual consumers aren’t the only ones buying more sustainable forest products; big brands are doing so too. For example, more than 98% of the wood used for IKEA products is either FSC-certified or recycled, and McDonald’s has committed to giving buying preference to FSC-certified products. Amazon, HP, and Bio Pappel are among other high-profile companies that are making thousands of FSC-certified products available to businesses and consumers.
Those forest product companies with an FSC and/or SFI chain-of-custody certification can also meet the demand for sustainable lumber, which will increase due to the projected growth of green building practices.
According to a 2021 LEED survey of 1,200 building industry professionals, by 2024, 42% of survey respondents plan to build more than 60% of their projects using green building best practices. This increase in green building will naturally drive increased demand of SFI- and FSC-certified wood because these certified wood products earn points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the most widely used green building rating system.
As mass timber gains in popularity with companies like Google and universities such as Harvard, it’s likely that manufacturers of mass timber will favor using certified sustainable wood for their products to further increase the sustainability of mass timber. As a result, those with chain-of-custody certification are also potential suppliers of mass timber manufacturers.
Given these markets for certified sustainable forest products, companies have ample incentives to obtain a chain-of-custody certification. To become certified, forest product companies must be able to demonstrate to an independent auditor that their raw forest materials originate from forests that meet the certifying bodies’ standards of responsible forest management. One effective way to generate this proof is through software that geotags the exact origin/location of each load your loggers create.
Legna’s Angel software has this capability and enables forest product companies to establish the proof and documentation that independent certification auditors need.
If you’d like to learn more, please contact us to schedule a demo of our Angel software solution. You can also read more about the high demand for certified sustainable forest products in our free e-book Supplying the Growing Market for Sustainable Forest Products: The Certifications That Open New Revenue Streams.