Global forests provide a vast range of ecosystem services, for instance; carbon sequestration, water filtration, habitat creation and nutrient cycling. Forests also provide important products such as timber, food, fuel and bioproducts.
While companies have traditionally valued these goods, the value of ecosystem services has typically been less understood, leading to the increasingly degraded state of the world’s forests and their vast carbon stores.
Without a way of translating the value of these services, and helping businesses to understand how they depend on them for successful operations, and how they are impacting on their health, this degradation is likely to continue
In response, the Forest Solutions Group of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) led the development of the Forest Products Sector Guide to the Natural Capital Protocol, supported with technical guidance from PwC.
A clearer understanding of the complex impact and dependency relationships that exist along the forest products value chain will inform better decision-making and encourage more accurate disclosure.
The Forest Products Sector Guide offers a standardized decision making framework to support businesses along the forest products value chain in identifying, measuring, and valuing their impacts and dependencies on natural capital.
Like the Natural Capital Protocol itself, the guide was developed for business. It is aimed primarily at managers from sustainability, environmental and operations departments, from companies along the forest products value chain from the forest owners and processors to the consumption and resource recovery.
The Guide is the fruit of an extensive engagement process with key stakeholders from across all forested continents.
During the development process, eight pilot testers have applied the guide to concrete cases of natural capital assessments, provided feedback on the content, and shared their experience through case studies”