Canada's Forest Industry Making Gains in Jobs, Products, Environmental Performance

From 2010 - 2012, final figures show that Canada's forest industry hired 8,000 new recruits and made a further 6% improvement in its environmental credentials.

June 17, 2014 - The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today released its first report card on Vision2020, Pathways to Prosperity — it shows progress on the three parameters of products, environmental performance and people and issues a call to action to build on the momentum to date.

"I'm pleased to say our efforts began to bear fruit during the first two years of our ten year Vision plan for jobs, growth and continuous improvement in the industry's environmental record," says the President and CEO of FPAC, David Lindsay.

Vision2020 was launched in May 2012 as a challenge to industry as well as governments, academic researchers, policy thinkers and other partners to build on the sector's transformation. The Vision goals are to refresh the workforce with an additional 60,000 new employees; improve environmental performance by 35% and generate an additional $20 billion in economic activity from new products and markets, all by the end of the decade.

The report card covers the first two year period between the baseline year of 2010 and 2012. During this period, final figures show that the forest industry hired 8,000 new recruits and made a further 6% improvement in its environmental credentials, putting the sector on pace to reach its Vision goals. The industry saw only a modest increase in the product goal with a gain in economic activity of $0.5 billion. However the report card reflects a time period when the industry was still recovering from the recession.

More recent figures show the industry growing at a faster pace — for example Statistics Canada figures say that during 2013, the forest products sector had a 3.4% increase in GDP, faster than the overall economy at 2%, while wood exports were up 27%.

"We want to celebrate our initial successes while acknowledging we still have a long way to go," says Lindsay. "Realizing the ambitious goals of Vision2020 will require bold thinking and determination. There needs to be a collective effort of FPAC and its member companies, working with the broader industry, government, policy thinkers, academics and others to find the best technological, social, environmental and economic pathways to progress."

"We look forward to another two years of increasing progress toward implementation of Vision2020 and the green and innovative agenda of the forest products industry of Canada."

Read the Vision2020 report card at: fpac.ca/vision2020.

FPAC provides a voice for Canada's wood, pulp, and paper producers nationally and internationally in government, trade, and environmental affairs. The $58-billion-a-year forest products industry represents 2% of Canada's GDP and is one of Canada's largest employers operating in hundreds of communities and providing 235,000 direct jobs across the country. To learn more, please visit: www.fpac.ca

SOURCE: Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC)