Coles & Officeworks Join Aussie Retailers in FSC Forest Walk

This year's FSC Forest Week theme is "Trust the Tree"

Tue 26 Sep 23


More and more consumers are recognising the importance and value of forest certification and its impact on everyday products.

That is the takeaway from FSC’s Forest Week, a week-long campaign that champions sustainable forest management’s crucial role in addressing pressing global concerns such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, and climate change.

This year’s theme is ‘Trust the Tree’ and is supported by Australia and New Zealand’s largest retailers, including the Woolworths Group, Coles Australia, Hallmark, Bunnings, Officeworks, and Kmart.

According to Coles Australia, “Over the last 12 months, Coles Own Brand has sold more than 50 million FSC-certified products.” 

In addition, it says all paper plates and bowls sold in stores proudly display an FSC-certified label.

Its support for the campaign is proudly displayed on all FSC-certified Coles Australia-produced magazines in store, and with “more than 1.6 billion people around the world relying directly on forests, and more than half the world’s species calling forests home,” Coles Australia said there has never been a more critical time to support certification of the world’s forests.

Coles Australia and companies connected to forest and fibre supply chains are increasingly focusing on the management of forests as the world looks to nature-positive and ecosystem frameworks.

Earlier this month, it participated in a tour led by FSC Australia and New Zealand CEO Melanie Robertson, “providing links in the supply chain with an authentic firsthand encounter with an FSC-certified forestry operation.”

Known as the “Forest Walk,” it provides representatives with an opportunity to connect with nature and gain a greater understanding of the ecological value of the forests.

Those “links” included FSC-certified Kimberly Clark and Timberlink, who toured HVP Plantations forests in Western Victoria with representatives from Coles Australia, Officeworks and Hallmark.

HVP Plantations was the first Australian forest to be certified to FSC’s sustainable forest management standards, and the tour provided participants with much-needed forest knowledge, “specifically around the intricacies of the plantation life cycle,” according to Ms Robertson. 

Amongst the highlights included Koby Phillips, a Traditional Owner of the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, who delivered a heartfelt Welcome to the Country and highlighted the importance of caring for the Country.

According to Ms Robertson, the Forest Walk affords participants a unique opportunity to witness the tangible impact of sustainable forestry practices on the environment, biodiversity, and climate change mitigation.

“FSC ANZ extends its gratitude to all those who attended and expresses our profound appreciation to HVP Plantations for their steadfast dedication to maintaining FSC’s rigorous standards for responsible forest management,” Ms Robertson said.

Established in 2001, the Forest Stewardship Council Australia and New Zealand (FSC ANZ) operates as an independent national office for FSC International. 

FSC International covers more than 150 million hectares of certified forests – and, according to Ms Robertson, “provides the world’s most credible sustainable forestry solution, trusted by NGOs, consumers, and businesses.”

FSC’s forestry standards are linked to a strict chain of custody certification “and are a proven solution to fight the climate and biodiversity crises.”

In Australia and New Zealand, more than 2,500,000 hectares of native and plantation forests are covered by FSC certification.

In addition, FSC ANZ certifies 411 Australian and New Zealand organisations to its chain of custody standard, including Visy, Kimberly-Clark, Abodo Wood, BioPak, and Who Gives a Crap.

“FSC” is the world’s most recognised “eco-labelling,” according to Wood Central Publisher Jason Ross, forest businesses must do more to promote the value of the certification.

In a Gottstein report published earlier this month, Mr Ross said, “The forest supply chain has not fully harnessed how it market forest certification.”

The report interviewed global stakeholders connected to the industry and analysed data with Mr Ross, confirming that “FSC and other forest certification labels have strong recognition and can be better utilised as a marketing tool” in the wake of the push towards decarbonisation, net-zero and the circular economy.

Wood Central Publisher, Jason Ross, with Suzette Wedding, Gottstein Chair, on the release of the Gottstein Report in Coffs Harbour, NSW.

“For six months, I was given a unique opportunity to study how the Australian forest industry can better market and communicate to an increasingly urbanised and environmentally conscious audience,” Mr Ross said.

“What began as an Australian project morphed into a global undertaking.” 

“I was fortunate to interview 100 stakeholders in New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the US, Canada, Vietnam, and Australia.”


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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