A foundational element of projects’ traceability and transparency objectives must be identifying and prohibiting unacceptable sources of wood. Suppliers should be asked to provide evidence that forest sources avoid unacceptable sources, including:

  • Illegal logging – while commonly associated with deforestation or developing nations – also refers to the need for documentation of compliance with locally applicable laws and regulations in North American forests.
  • Conversion of forests to plantations or non-forest uses. Deforestation is not just a phenomenon in far-off lands. Millions of acres of forestland are lost to sprawl and development each year. Wood from these activities and
  • Destruction or significant degradation of High Conservation Values, including but not limited to primary (old growth) forests, intact forest landscapes (areas of primary forest that are 50,000 hectares or larger), and habitat for Rare, Threatened and Endangered species

Evidence of compliance can take any of a number of forms, including:

  • Formal declarations by suppliers
  • Attestations from independent experts (NGOs, academics, etc.)
  • FSC National Risk Assessments for Controlled Wood indicating low risk for the source forest(s) and/or supplier invoices or other documentation indicating that the material is FSC Controlled Wood
  • Analysis using remote sensing tools (e.g. Global Forest Watch)
  • Third-party audits

Of the facets to traceability and transparency information gathering, the avoidance of unacceptable sources is among the easiest to incorporate with conventional procurement procedures like specification language . For example, many firms already operate with a practice-wide master specification that prohibits old wood from growth forests or requires a certification standard.