Industry Info - Sustainability
COFI members operate in the most sustainably managed forest region in the world. The province is known for its exacting environmental standards, and the British Columbia forest industry is an environmentally responsible leader in the world. Here are just a few examples
- Forests cover 62% of the province of British Columbia, but only 24% (22 million hectares) is available for harvesting.
- Of that amount, only 200,000 hectares – or less than 1% – are harvested on an annual basis.
- BC has 52 million hectares of forest covered by third-party certification — more than any other single COUNTRY in the world.
- 200 million trees are planted annually in British Columbia.
- Trees planted in BC have captured 2 billion tonnes of carbon.
- 15% of the province is fully protected, and much more of British Columbia’s land base falls under some type of special management regime, where values such as wildlife habitat, biodiversity or recreation take precedence.
- BC’s parks system is the second largest in Canada. Only the national parks system is bigger.
A Friend in the Fight Against Climate Change
Trees and forest products play a critical role in helping to tackle climate change and reduce greenhouse gases.
As trees grow, they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, storing the carbon and releasing the oxygen back into the atmosphere. When trees age and start to decay, or when forests succumb to wildfire, insects or disease, the stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere. The carbon cycle begins again as the forest is regenerated, either naturally or by planting, and young seedlings once again begin absorbing carbon.
The BC forest industry contributes to climate change mitigation in a number of different ways. In addition to ensuring reforestation of harvested areas, wood products used from those forests continue to store the carbon for as long as they are in use.
The BC forest sector has also been tracking its carbon footprint since the early 1990s and has delivered significant reductions through investments in new processes and technology.
For more information on the contributions of forests and wood products to climate change mitigation visit the following sites: