FSC and businesses: Working together to develop consumer awareness in the CIS countries
Friday, 18 September 2015
There are more than 40 million hectares of FSC-certified forests in Russia, giving the country the second largest area in the world after Canada.
Belarus and Ukraine add a further 9.1 million hectares of FSC-certified forest to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region. Many leading CIS companies have chain of custody as well as forest management certification. But they are still working to improve their promotion of the benefits of FSC certification to consumers.
‘Business cooperation and promotion via FSC’ was the key topic of the FSC Business Forum, held for the first time in Russia last month. The forum was a great opportunity to discuss the best practices of leading companies in the promotion of FSC-certified products in the CIS region. As the director of FSC Regional Office for CIS countries, Andrei Ptichnikov, stressed: “Responsible businesses can influence consumer behaviour through the way they use the benefits of their FSC certification. Consumers in turn influence the state of global forests and guarantee their preservation for generations to come. The expertise in such areas that representatives of leading companies bring to the FSC Business Forum is simply priceless.”
Tetra Pak, for instance, shared its experience in supporting an art project, ‘The Forest’, with PepsiCo. Different pictures taken by famous photographers were exhibited in different parks in Russian and Ukrainian cities, with the aim of drawing attention to various issues around wildlife and forest conservation. During the forum,Tetra Pak Russia’s Environment Manager, Olga Ivanova, called on Russian companies to pay greater attention both to sustainable production and the promotion of their FSC-certified products. To achieve this, different tools and methods were introduced to the participants so that they could keep developing their businesses in line with FSC principles. FSC Marketplace, for instance, helps buyers and suppliers of FSC-certified products in different countries to connect with each other.
Many FSC certificate holders in the region – such as International Paper, which co-organized the Forum with FSC, and Tetra Pak – are already great advocates of certification. Elena Lavreneva, International Paper Russia’s Director for Cardboard and CTMP Sales, noted that “International Paper has supported the development of sustainable businesses in Russia since the concept was first introduced here in 1998, and more widely across the CIS region since 2011. FSC certification is a great tool that confirms that our products are produced in line with international standards, making it possible to achieve the best results by meeting the interests of our partners and our consumers.”
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