Tuesday, 18 December 2018
2018 wrap up with FSC CEO
FSC Australia CEO Sara Gipton reflects on the past year
Thank you for joining us as we bring this year to a close, and what a year it has been! 2018 has been a year of achievements for FSC Australia and our supporters. We celebrated the approval and release of the FSC Australian National Standard, which will provide a clear and robust framework for sustainable forest management in this country.
We thank the Standard Development Group and Indigenous Working Group members who worked so tirelessly over such a long period of time to finalise the standard We look forward to seeing it implemented across Australia’s plantations and native forestry operations in the coming years.
2018 was also the year that we hosted FSC Global Director, Kim Carstensen. Kim visited the region to speak at the FSC Australia public forum and the New Zealand business forum. A charismatic speaker, Kim injected a welcome international perspective to important local conversations about the opportunities and challenges that FSC faces in Australia.
2018 has been a stellar year for FSC’s impact on the market with large retailers Bunnings and Officeworks publicly setting targets for FSC certified procurement by 2020 and Visy achieving 100% FSC CoC certification on all their corrugated cardboard plants.
Field trips in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania in both plantation and native forestry operations afforded me the opportunity to better understand issues on the ground and how FSC is implemented in practice.
I gained a unique insight into Bunning’s sustainable timber supply chain by visiting the West Papuan forest concessions that supply Bunnings’ FSC certified Merbau. It was a privilege to be able to discuss the impact of local forestry operations with community elders. SWPI’s (the supplier) commitment to FSC was clear, they see FSC a tool to illustrate their long-term commitment to sustainability. Through FSC SWPI ensures that the rights of local communities, workers, and the rainforest itself are upheld.
The experience reinvigorated my belief in the importance of choosing FSC, as consumers, businesses, and advocates. A message that we will push more in 2019.
My first year as CEO has been challenging and rewarding, and I would like to close my message to you with a sincere thank you to everyone who has worked with, supported, and contributed to FSC Australia and New Zealand over the past year. I look forward to building on our successes in 2019, seeing the first forests certified under the Australian National Forest Management Standard to make FSC stronger in our region.