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Gibson Commits to Wood Sourcing Legality

Gibson USA announced today a plan to address legality of such its wood sourcing practices with the assistance from the Rainforest Alliance, according to a press release.

In late 2009, Gibson facilities in Nashville were investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for allegedly violating the Lacey Act, a law requiring that all wood products and plants imported into the United States come from legal sources. While on site, officials found rosewood from Madagascar. The investigation on its legality is still pending.

Gibson said it is taking steps to ensure that the company’s entire supply chain comes from legal sources and will work with the Rainforest Alliance toward eventually sourcing entirely from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests.

The company first began working with the FSC ten years ago, when it began working toward certification of its wood supply. The company has said securing FSC certification for its wood supply is critical to the business, and that it is committed to eliminating all illegal wood from its supply chain.

The company said it is pursuing six goals for its supply chain: identifying illegal or unsustainable sources and documenting the legality of future purchases, establishing a baseline for determining the verification of its sources, using FSC-certified or Verified Legal wood to progress against its baseline, investing it the sustainability of its supply chain, looking for alternatives sources to reduce the need for rare woods, and appointing individuals within each division to lead sourcing initiatives globally.

Gibson said its supply managers have visited Guatemala, Indonesia, Mexico, and various parts of the US and Canada seeking to expand FSC-certified supply, while supporting independent verification of legality for wood sources in India and testing new composite materials and alternative species of trees.

Gibson production facilities are located in the USA and China, including longstanding legacy facilities in Nashville, Tenn., and Bozeman, Mont.  Wood species used in these products include maple, mahogany, rosewood, ebony, Sitka spruce, nyatoh and various others, including species originating in places ranging from Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the US.

Unilever has also set a target goal to source 75 percent of its paper and board packaging from sustainably managed forests or from recycled material by 2015, reaching 100 percent by 2020, with preference given to FSC-certified sources.

The FSC recently announced it has revised its Forest Management Standard for forest operations in the contiguous U.S.

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