Skip to content

Modern, sustainable forest management leads to climate-smart outcomes in working forests.

Outcome 6

Production of Sustainable, Renewable, Carbon-Beneficial Products

The efficient production of sustainable, renewable, carbon-beneficial products is one of the pillars of a climate-smart forest sector approach (Verklerk). Sustainable forest management, as practiced in the U.S. by private working forest owners, creates a steady supply of wood and fiber for forest products while also providing immense environmental benefits – including carbon benefits.

How do we know this is true?

Sustainability Reporting by the US Forest Service (McGinley et al 2023) publishes data on the following indicators:

  • Value and volume of wood and wood products production (Indicator 6.25)
  • Value of nonwood forest products produced or collected (Indicator 6.26)
  • Revenue from forest-based environmental services (Indicator 6.27)
  • Total and per capita consumption of wood and wood products (Indicator 6.28)
  • Total and per capita consumption of nonwood forest products (Indicator 6.29)
  • Value and volume of exports and imports of wood products (Indicator 6.30)
  • Value of exports and imports of nonwood products (Indicator 6.31)
  • Exports and imports of wood products as a share of production and consumption (Indicator 6.32)
  • Recovery or recycling of forest products (Indicator 6.33)

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Special Report on Climate Change and Land (2019): “In the long term, a sustainable forest management strategy aimed at maintaining or increasing forest carbon stocks, while producing an annual sustained yield of timber, fiber or energy from the forest, will generate the largest sustained mitigation benefit.”

Ensuring the production of sustainable, renewable, carbon-Beneficial products:

Sustainable Forest Certification systems are focused on timber producing forests.

  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certification – See e.g., Performance Measure 7.1. – “Certified Organizations shall employ appropriate forest harvesting technology and in-woods manufacturing processes to minimize waste and ensure efficient utilization of forest resources where consistent with other SFI Standard objectives.”
  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification – See Principle 10.11.2. The Organization optimizes the use of harvest forest* products and minimizes the loss and/or waste of harvested forest* products.

Ensuring Forest Management is Climate Smart

In the U.S., assurances are in place to verify that our forests are sustainably managed and climate smart through a mosaic of overlapping and mutually reinforcing local, state, and federal environmental laws and regulations, state-approved forestry best management practices (BMPs), and third-party forest management and wood fiber sourcing certification programs.

NAFO’s Environmental Benefits Report

Did you know that private working forests are one of the most environmentally valuable natural resources in the U.S. but one of the least understood? To learn more about the positive impacts of sustainable forest management on carbon, water, and wildlife, check out this comprehensive report from the National Alliance of Forest Owners.