Canadian Standards Association

Canfor has CSA certification for a large proportion of our operations in British Columbia and Alberta, with two separate certificates: One for multi sites in northern British Columbia and northern Alberta, and one for the Fort St. John Code Pilot.

The Fort St. John Pilot Project 2017 audit summary and the 2017 CSA surveillance re-certification audit of Canfor’s woodlands in British Columbia and Alberta found our sustainable forest management system complies with ISO 14001 and CSA Z809 requirements.

The audit team for the Fort St. John Pilot identified good practices, including an above-average moose management plan and well-coordinated approaches to current topics such as stakeholder communications, Sustainable Forest Management plan amendment and approval, and Public Advisory Group feedback. It flagged five areas of non-conformance, including two related to Canfor activities – an incomplete incident tracking file and the lack of a prescribed culvert. The audit also identified two opportunities for improvement – summarizing the moose strategy for planners and field layout personnel, and updating the pilot project website.

The multi-site audit of woodlands in British Columbia and Alberta noted a number of good practices such as:

  • Vavenby had machine-free zones and applied understory retention in non-classified drainages, even though this was not formally prescribed, reducing impacts on water quality and sensitive soils, and having a beneficial effect on stand-level biodiversity.
  • A Houston field review of planned harvesting and road construction work protected a wide range of non-timber values, such as fisheries, cultural heritage and wildlife, and First Nations input led to new approaches.
  • Mackenzie applied caribou best management practices voluntarily even though government regulations did not apply to the area, and added buffers adjacent to provincial park boundaries during harvesting to reduce wind-throw and edge effects.
  • Chetwynd demonstrated a high level of performance regarding water management which is a significant challenge to the operation, particularly on steep slopes. It also used proactive actions such as checklists and monitoring sheets to address fuel storage and transportation requirements.
  • In Prince George, a harvesting contractor kept a folder in each pickup truck containing portable tank inspections and certifications to ensure compliance and promote operator awareness.
  • Fort Nelson used PRISM (Public Response for Information Sustainable Management) through an extended shutdown of harvesting so public participation could continue.
  • Houston used landscape modelling on a regular basis to evaluate the impacts of conservation, harvesting and other forest management strategies.

Good practices identified across the company included increased use of tethered harvesting systems so operations on steeper ground allow safer access to the full timber profile, and a requirement that contractors have GPS units in their harvesting and road building equipment to reduce the risk of harvest boundary trespasses. 

The audit closed two of three open minor non-conformities and downgraded one related to a weakness in implementation of operational controls to an opportunity for improvement. Three new minor non-conformances were identified:

  • Issues related to fuel management guidelines including disposal of used spill pads (Houston), a poor response to a small spill of hydraulic fuel (Vavenby), and large amounts of used synthetic road geotextile in roadside burn piles (Fort St. James).
  • Issues related to fuel storage including instances where truck-mounted fuel tanks were not adequately secured to the vehicle (Prince George, Grande Prairie and Chetwynd).
  • Weaknesses in implementing environmental impact monitoring and measuring procedures including several blocks where inspections were not recorded (Mackenzie), and blocks where there was no interim or final inspection (Vanderhoof and Fort St. James).

There were also eight new systemic opportunities for improvement cited related to contractor training, sustainable forest management annual reports, operational controls, fuel management guidelines, emergency response procedures, the incident tracking system, and sustainable forest management plans. A number of non-systemic weaknesses in the implementation of forest management system requirements were reported to the woodlands operations, and the company has developed action plans to address them.