Sustainable Forestry

Canfor-managed forests are sustainable forests. It’s not widely understood that sustainable forestry helps maintain biodiversity, protect watersheds, mitigate climate change and support healthy, resilient forests for future generations.

    Sustainable Forestry is Good for the Planet

    Practicing sustainable forestry helps to reduce the impacts of climate change by replenishing forests with new, growing trees that absorb more carbon at a faster rate than older, less healthy ones.

    And, while a forest left alone is more vulnerable to disturbances, sustainably managed forests are more resilient against issues like infestations and wildfires.

    Our Goal: We are committed to practicing world-class sustainable forestry that will result in resilient, productive and biodiverse forests. We commit to building collaborative partnerships and developing innovative solutions to contribute positively to forest health and climate change mitigation.


    Engage with public, stakeholders and Indigenous communities to identify cultural and other values to be conserved and protected


    Prepare draft forest management plans

    Incorporate Feedback

    Forest management plan finalized, incorporating feedback


    Seek government approvals

    Site Assessments

    Site assessments and fieldwork to ensure that identified values are protected

    Site Plan

    Prepare site and operations plan and apply for permits


    Begin harvest operation, including road building and transportation of logs

    Restore & Reforest

    Post-harvest activities, including reforestation, restoration of sites and deactivating roads


    Monitoring and stand tending until forest grows freely which can be up to 20 years

    Regenerating Forests Through Planning and Planting

    On Canadian public lands, we reforest the areas from which we’ve harvested.

    An important step in Canfor’s reforestation process is to replant three healthy new seedlings for each tree harvested. The majority of these new seedlings are from seeds produced at orchards. These seeds exhibit superior growth and resistance to forest health problems such as pests and disease.

    From here, we monitor the growth and development of these new trees until they reach specified standards of density and height. Doing so helps to ensure the regrowth of a healthy, productive forest.

    This approach enhances forest resiliency so that planted seedlings can tolerate the conditions we expect from climate change. In 2022 alone, Canfor replenished our managed forests with 64 million new, healthy seedlings.

    • 100%

      of Canfor-managed forests are certified to FSC®or SFI ® Forest Management Standard

    • 100%

      of all sourced wood from our North American wood products operations are certified to SFI Fibre Sourcing Standard

    • 91%

      of our pulp mills’ fibre is from PEFC-certified Chain of Custody Sources

    Partnerships to Advance Forestry Practices

    Learning from each other and sharing expertise is important to continuously evolving our sustainable forestry practices. We’ve led or partnered with several organizations to study opportunities for improvement and to create better practices in industry.

    Canfor worked closely with the B.C. government fisher habitat team to enhance habitats for fishers in our cut blocks after harvest.

    Our foresters and biologists used guidance from the fisher team to determine which habitat features were most important and then used their expertise to incorporate these into cut-block design and retention specifications.

    Formed by the government of Alberta and the forest sector, this partnership is committed to finding on-the-ground solutions that balance forestry activities with woodland caribou conservation.

    This collaboration promotes self-sustaining caribou populations and a viable forest sector through supporting the development and sharing of innovative tools, techniques, strategies and understandable scientific knowledge to enhance sustainable forest management and caribou recovery efforts.

    We participated in a collaborative group that included the provincial government, Indigenous communities and environmental organizations to identify the highest-quality old-growth stands in our Tree Farm Licence 14 in East Kootenay, B.C.

    The group developed a new process using LiDAR technology (Light Detection and Ranging) to identify the stands with the best old-growth characteristics (e.g., large live trees, large tree crowns, variation in the forest canopy) and to designate these stands as old-growth reserves.

    Responding to and Preventing Forest Fires

    How we manage forests can have a significant impact on the severity of wildfires. Canfor maintains a fire prevention and suppression program that includes fire preparedness and response training and planning.

    These programs include commercial thinning, which reduces the potential fuel load for wildfires, as well as proactively reducing the flammability of forests by planting tree species that have higher humidity and less flammable bark and leaves.

    Maintaining Biodiversity & Species-at-risk

    Maintaining biodiversity and wildlife habitat is an integral and ongoing part of sustainable forest management. Canfor uses an ecosystem-based approach with special consideration for species-at-risk.

    We identify and track rare ecosystem types which tend to have rare species associated with them, including small plants, lichens and invertebrates. Then, we either place these areas in reserves or remove them from planned cut-block boundaries. These are not easily monitored, but we recognize that our efforts protect an important component of biodiversity. Our system tracks each species listed on provincial and federal species-at-risk lists in a detailed database. Our standard work procedures outline training requirements for employees and contractors, and guide actions upon encountering and managing for these species during the forestry planning phase and while conducting operations in the field.

    More ways we're tackling sustainability: