RECAP: Live Chat with Ian Hanna; Director of Strategic Development, FSC

2012 Ian head shot 3Every Wednesday at 4pm PST / 7pm EST (and every once in a while at other times) TriplePundit will take 30 minutes or so to chat with an interesting leader in the sustainable business movement. These chats are broadcast on our Google+ channel and embedded via YouTube right here on 3p.

On Wednesday, February 26th, TriplePundit’s Founder, Nick Aster, held a chat with Ian Hanna, Director of Strategic Development for the Forest Stewardship Council International.

The vision of the global non-profit is that the world’s forests meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations. FSC International’s strategy consists of five main goals:

Goal 1: Advance globally responsible forest management
Goal 2: Ensure equitable access to the benefits of FSC systems
Goal 3: Ensure integrity, credibility and transparency of the FSC system
Goal 4: Create business value for products from FSC certified forests
Goal 5: Strengthen the global network to deliver on goals 1 through 4

To meet these goals, the FSC International’s program areas such as chain of custody, social policy, ecosystem services, and monitoring and evaluation, help manage the multidimensional nature of forestry and certification.

Hanna addressed these goals and concepts, and much more, in his interview.  

The chat will be live below at 4pm Pacific:

If you missed the conversation, you can still watch it on our YouTube channel.


About Ian

Ian Hanna is an ecologist, social entrepreneur and sustainability advocate that is the Director of Strategic Development for the Forest Stewardship Council. He works with various industries, agencies and NGOs to shift the wood and paper purchasing of businesses, consumers and governments to more responsible, verifiable sources such as FSC certification provides. Hanna hails from the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State and is a firm believer that individual action around our purchasing decisions is the quickest path to leaving a positive environmental legacy for future generations.


Marissa Rosen

Marissa is the Owner of Climate Social, LLC. She holds a bachelor's degree in communications from Mizzou and a master's in environmental studies from UPenn. Connect with her to discuss TriplePundit's popular Twitter Chats or anything else sustainability + digital marketing!

2 responses

  1. A few questions for Ian Hanna:

    1. In order to get certified, companies need to be assessed by one of FSC’s certifying bodies. The assessment is paid for by the companies. Obviously, the certifying bodies have an interest in not raising too many obstructions to certification. This issue has been raised repeatedly with FSC (for example in 2002 in the Rainforest Foundation UK report “Trading in Credibility”). Why has FSC not addressed this conflict of interest at the heart of the FSC system?

    2. A recent paper published in Nature found no difference in carbon emissions between FSC certified logging operations and non-certified logging operations in East Kalimantan:

    “We found that concessions certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC, N = 3), when compared with noncertified concessions (N = 6), did not have lower overall CO2 emissions from logging activity (felling, skidding, and hauling).”

    Please explain the implications of the findings of this report for FSC, particularly for FSC’s certification of forest carbon projects.

    3. FSC certifies monoculture industrial tree plantations. One of the most controversial of these is a pulp company called Veracel in Bahia, Brazil. On its website, FSC lists this as a “closed dispute”, but as a September 2013 World Rainforest Movement report reveals, the dispute on the ground in Bahia is very much ongoing.

    4. Recently FSC withdrew certification of Swedwood Karelia, a subsidiary of IKEA. The company was logging old-growth forests in the north of Russian Karelia. Swedish NGOs Protect the Forest and Friends of the Earth Sweden took out a complaint with FSC about Swedwood Karelia’s logging operations in September 2011. What area of old-growth forest was logged between FSC becoming aware of the problem and the
    withdrawal of the certificate more than two years later?

    5. How can FSC claim that FSC-certified logging operations are legal given the following:

    – the certifying body that conducts the assessment is paid for by the logging company;

    – the certifying body only assesses the logging operation once a year; and

    – the certifying body makes an appointment before turning up to check on the company’s operations?

    6. Greenpeace describes the FSC system as “At Risk” and notes that “many of the FSC’s on-the-ground performance criteria are either weak, under threat of being weakened, or not properly implemented”. For five years, Greenpeace has been providing constructive criticism and making recommendations on how FSC can maintain its credibility. Greenpeace’s most recent FSC Progress Report (October 2013) reveals that little progress. Why is FSC reacting so slowly to Greenpeace’s recommendations?

    I look forward to Ian’s responses and to posting them on FSC-Watch.

  2. I would like to ask Ian Hanna why companies that are legally bankrupt can still be full FSC members and continue their certification process? Isn’t this a form of banking carried out by FSC? If a company is being managed by a liquidator why isn’t the liquidator the legal FSC certificate holder? I am using Gunns Ltd in Australia as an example.

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