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Verifying Responsible Sourcing Collaborative

Developing a resource on the sourcing of fiber-based packing for sustainability professionals.

SPC Team Lead
Shea Wales, Project Associate

Many brands and retailers are setting 100% responsible sourcing goals for the wood-fiber used in their paper and packaging. To accomplish these goals, companies work with their suppliers to verify that the products they purchase meet the requirements outlined in their own corporate policies. These requirements are evolving to provide more inclusive definitions of responsibly sourced fiber, based on updates in procurement standards and landscape-level analyses of forests where products are sourced.

To address this trend, the VRS collaborative has agreed that the following three project deliverables provide the most value to our members and the larger forest products industry:

  • Curated resources which touch on topics such as; corporate goal setting, wood origin, traceability, responsible forest management, unique forest features, non-certified sources, and social and community considerations.

  • Guiding principles that companies, no matter where they are on their sustainability journey, should consider when sourcing forest products.

  • A list of common questions, created with input from both suppliers and brands, aimed at streamlining the fiber procurement-verification process. In this way, these questions will serve as a resource for a large portion of the supply chain. Brands new to sustainability will be able to transparently identify the most important questions to ask suppliers, and suppliers can pre-prepare answers to these questions, thereby reducing the quantity of repetitive questions they field.

Founded by SPC Forest Products, the VRS Collaborative connects SPC members across the supply chain by providing a space for discussion around goals, challenges and possible solutions related to the sustainable procurement of fiber. Our goal is to collaboratively produce a resource that many companies can use to align their fiber procurement goals with more consistent metrics in the fiber supply chain. Through this process we hope to galvanize companies to come together and set a tone for the marketplace at large.

To learn more, share your company’s perspective, and/or join, please contact Shea Wales, Project Associate