After an intensive two-week environmental audit in April 2015, KPMG has recommended that TimberWest continue to be certified to the ISO 14001, SFI Forest Management, and PEFC Chain of Custody standards.
TimberWest is proud to be a leader in environmental certification. We were Canada’s first forest company to be certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s (SFI) Forest Management standard in 2000. We have complemented our forest management programs with an Environmental Management System (EMS) that conforms to the ISO 14001 Standard and a Chain of Custody system that meets the requirements of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The combination of the systems ensures that we are meeting internationally recognized expectations for responsible forest management. SFI provides us with criteria for managing critical environmental, economic, and social values such as water quality, wildlife habitat, old growth forests, reforestation, cultural features, visual quality and promotes research, training and education, community involvement and management engagement. The EMS ensures we get the “results on the ground” and that we are continuously improving with a system for planning, inspections, operating procedures, documentation, training, and communication. The Chain of Custody system ensures we are purchasing wood responsibly and that all products coming from sustainably managed forests, via TimberWest, are tracked; from the forest all the way to the customer.
You can see TimberWest’s 2015 audit report at: http://www.sfiprogram.org/audit-reports/timberwest-may-2015/
Every year, each of these systems are carefully audited by an independent third party. Specialized auditors verify that the systems are meeting standards, make recommendations for improvement, and determine if we can maintain our “certified” status. When they return each year they not only check our systems again, but they see that we have followed up on recommendations and findings from the last audit. This ensures a system that meets the standards and is continually improving.
The 2015 audit was conducted by KPMG; KPMG operates in 34 locations across Canada. The firm’s more than 700 partners and more than 6,000 employees provide crucial services to many business, not for profit and government organizations in Canada. Their Vancouver based forestry group is accredited to register forest companies to ISO 14001, CSA-SFM, SFI and PEFC certification standards. The group consists of a highly qualified team of resource management professionals.
“TimberWest’s environmental, SFM and CoC policies, provided that the systems continue to be implemented and maintained as required. As a result, a decision has been reached by the audit team to recommend that TimberWest Forest Corporation continue to be certified to the ISO 14001, SFI and PEFC CoC standards.” ~KPMG Auditors
The audit covered a sample of TimberWest’s operations on our public and private lands and reviewed planning, administration, roads, harvesting, silviculture, log hauling, sorting and timber procurement activities. The audit included document review, interviews and inspection of a large sample of field sites (20 roads, 16 harvest blocks, 17 silviculture sites, 2 log sorts and 4 wood procurement sites).
All activities were evaluated to determine their conformance with the requirements of each of the standards, ensure compliance to regulatory requirements, and evaluate the effectiveness of the systems. In addition, TimberWest was assessed to see if they were prepared to address incremental requirements of the new SFI standard to be fully in place by January 1, 2016.
Upon completion of the 2015 audit, the audit team turned their mind to 2016 and suggested they will focus on, not only a review of the whole system and sample operations again but also:
- Implementation of the action plans developed by the Company to address all of the open findings from previous audits.
- Development and implementation of changes to Company procedures that are necessary to address any changes in Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) requirements resulting from the revised South Central Coast Order (SCCO).
- The outcome of the current Forest Practices Board complaints regarding: (1) logging of remnant old forest patches on Sonora Island, and (2) visual quality management on West Cracroft Island.
- The Company’s current performance in relation to the AAC partition for TFL47.
- Implementation of the Company’s action plans to address the incremental requirements of the 2015-2019 SFI forest management standard.
The audit team found that TimberWest Forest Corporation’s environmental, SFM and CoC systems were in full conformance with the requirements of the ISO 14001, SFI and PEFC CoC requirements included within the scope of the audit and our certification was issued. TimberWest is proud to have another year of positive results, is working on making our systems even better, and we, too, are turning our minds to advances in 2016.
For more information on forest practices at TimberWest please see our Information Sheets