An independent observer of the Forest Stewartship Council

SCA gets top ranking from WWFTags: Sweden, High Conservation Value Forests, WWF

A few weeks ago, FSC-Watch reported that the Swedish Society for Nature conservation (SSNC) had made a formal complaint to FSC about SCA's logging operations in Northern Sweden. We've also raised concerns about WWF's close relationships with logging companies.

WWF, it seems, is getting very cosy with SCA. In September 2007, WWF and SCA Hygiene signed a 10 million marketing deal allowing SCA to put WWF's panda logo on its packs of Velvet toilet tissue.

Last week, SCA announced that WWF had ranked the company "top in this year's assessment of the sustainability reports of European paper companies". Last year, WWF announced that "SCA Tissue, the producer of such brands as Danke, Edet, Zewa, Cosy and Velvet, is the only surveyed company that is able to ensure that wood fibres used in its products don't come from poorly-managed forests. This manufacturer also promotes the highest environmental and social standards in forest management."

Here's one of SSNC's photographs of SCA's operations in northern Sweden. An example of what SCA, FSC and WWF describe as well managed.

WWF and SCA both use FSC as the standard to judge whether or not forests are "well managed". In its Sustainability Report from 2006, SCA writes: "Responsible use of wood: SCA's forests are certified according to FSC, a strict international standard." Meanwhile, in its Paper Scorecard, WWF addresses "Responsible use of natural resources by promoting use of post-consumer recycled fibre and virgin fibre from well-managed FSC-certified forests as preferred fibre sources." The similarities between SCA's claims and WWF's Scorecard are obvious. SCA uses recycled fibre for some of its products, but where it uses virgin fibre FSC doesn't appear to be able to guarantee anything very much.

SCA recently launched a "Young Nature Photographer of the Year" competition, in association with WWF. If we thought anyone at SSNC were young enough to enter, FSC-Watch would encourage them to send in the photograph below - not that they'd stand any chance of winning the competition, but maybe someone at WWF might see what the logging operations of one of their favourite companies actually look like.

FSC-Watch looks forward to posting WWF's explanation of why it continues its partnership with SCA and why it allows SCA to use the panda logo to help greenwash SCA's destructive logging operations in Sweden.


Partnership between industry and Economic NGOs

Some people in the global South call WWF and the other big international NGOs like Conservation International (CI) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) ironically the "Business NGOs".

Today, these Business NGOs have very few in common with environmental protection, social and indigenous rights, etc. What they are interested in is to make business, money, and to have political power.

They do not care from where the money comes, if it is from Chevron Texaco, Monsanto, the World Bank, or the Bush administration. They even feel no shame to put the logos of these companies and institutions on their web site.

They use FSC and the certification of industrial activities as a clever business strategy. The certificate publicly demonstrates that the company they are promoting and linked to is responsible and good. WWF and their nice little panda as well as the supposedly independent certification label FSC are the perfect green wash for the companies.

The Economic NGOs also have no problem to divide together with their business partners - companies and governments - the world in areas, which can be clear cut for industrial plantations and agribusiness, with some small patches of "High Conservation Value Areas", which should be conserved, preferably as private reserves owned by themselves.

Fortunately, not all local communities fall in their trap. E.g., here in Ecuador the local affected communities rejected to work on their sustainable oil palm initiative.

Klaus Schenck, Ibarra, Ecuador

What exactly are you trying to say with the above photos?

-That there are less trees left standing after vs. before logging?

-That branches are left on the ground and single trees are left standing?

Or does 'well managed' for you equal no harvesting at all??

For people who at least have a clue about Scandinavian forestry, the above photo is a rather normal logging site in the 21st century.

But I understand that these photos may appear 'scary' for city people on the continent who never came closer to a tree than in Hyde Park.

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