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Forest Stewardship Council

Timber certified with the FSC mark

A study by WWF showed how companies with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification achieved higher stock market returns.

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) was founded in 1993 to support environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests.

In September 2000 the World Resources Institute (WRI) published a report that points to Canada, Japan and the United States as the leading providers of subsidies that destroy the world’s remaining frontier forests. In Europe, France stood out as the only government with direct investments in logging companies.

FSC’s main activity is to accredit organisations which certify the quality of forest management. The benefits of certification extend well beyond the environment. Implementing a proactive environmental strategy can reduce companies’ risks and improve their image.

WWF’s study analysed the total investment returns of 8 timber product companies: 4 Swedish FSC-certified and 4 Finnish non-FSC-certified. Their findings showed that the FSC companies gained higher investor confidence from 1994 to 1998. Investors consider that FSC companies have higher earnings potential and are worth more. Skilful forest management is a good indicator of high quality management skills elsewhere.

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