Our Forests

Sustainable Forest Management

At Mercer, we maintain a long-standing commitment to sustainable forest management and wood sourcing that protects forest values for today and for the future. By managing forests sustainably, we support key forest ecosystem functions and services such as carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation, and clean water. These ecosystem benefits are not only important to the environment but also for the wellbeing of local communities.

In our role as a forest manager and purchaser of wood for our operations, we have a responsibility to implement sustainable practices in our own land use and forest management areas as well as promote sustainable forestry in our supply chain. In the forests we operate on and manage, we follow principles for sustainable forest management which are a set of criteria that we use to enable a holistic approach to forest planning that balances multiple forest values across environmental, social and economic interests.

As part of our sustainable approach to forestry, we ensure trees are replanted after harvesting and practice ecosystem based management (EBM) in the forests we manage which emulates patterns of natural disturbance across the forest landscape to mimic the forest structure that would naturally occur from forest ecology dynamics such as forest fires and wind storms. It’s important to distinguish between responsible, sustainable harvesting which includes reforestation and deforestation. It is our goal to sustainably manage forests through forest regeneration for years to come.


We Know Our Wood’s Origin

Ensuring sustainable sourcing of fiber and wood at all our global operations is a key priority. Mercer is committed to preventing deforestation and ensuring that the wood we source does not contribute to deforestation, forest degradation or illegal logging. We carefully track the origin of our wood through independent third-party verified Chain of Custody (CoC) systems that maintain accountability and traceability throughout our supply chain. The CoC verifies that wood does not come from controversial sources, including illegal logging and forest conversion.

100% of Mercer’s operations are covered by an external third-party certification including the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Chain of Custody, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Chain of Custody and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Chain of Custody Standards. Additionally, 100% of our pulp mill facilities are certified to ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Under effective CoC administration by means of Due Diligence Systems and Risk Assessments our wood sourcing inputs are screened to not contribute to deforestation in our areas of influence. As such, we are committed to zero deforestation. Under the oversight of our Senior Vice President Global Wood Sourcing, our wood sourcing managers and forest certification coordinators implement company-wide responsibility towards monitoring and measuring our supply of sustainable wood fibre and increasing the percentage of certified fibre sourced.

We source our wood from our own managed forests, state-owned forests, private landowners, and private local wood product manufacturers. We also purchase wood from traders who are able to verify their sources and from countries or entities with strong reputations and ethical business practices. All of the wood we source and utilize is conducted in accordance with local regulations, statutes, and best practices in forestry.


Products & Services

Our Policies and Commitments

One of Mercer’s core values is Be Sustainable which means creating long-term business value through sustainable practices and products. We expect our suppliers and partners to comply with the responsible and ethical principles defined by our Wood and Fibre Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct. Under the oversight of Mercer’s Senior Vice President, Global Wood Sourcing, we work to ensure a sustainable supply of wood fibre from our own forests and suppliers that do not contribute to deforestation or forest degradation. 

We conform with internationally recognized and accepted principles of sustainable forest management which include the forest certification schemes and Chain of Custody standards we utilize throughout our operations. We ensure compliance with applicable local laws and regulations and maintain open dialogue with our relevant stakeholders and Rights Holders to develop mutually beneficial working relationships and consideration for multiple values and interests. 

Forest Certification

Our wood supply is certified by independent third parties as ecologically and environmentally sound. We rely upon harvests sourced from jurisdictions that maintain some of the highest forest management standards in the world, including Germany, Canada and the USA. Consequently, we are accustomed to striving for excellence in every aspect of our operations. 

Forest certification serves as a valuable instrument in advancing sustainable forest management and providing a due diligence system to track forest fiber content through production and manufacturing to the end product. We advocate for and utilize reputable forest certification programs that include the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Our sites undergo annual independent third-party audits that verify the origin of our wood fibre and confirm a sound management system. By employing certified Chain of Custody standards, verified annually by external auditors, we are able to ensure complete traceability and transparency of our direct operations and supply chain to sustainable sources. Our CoC certification systems serve as a robust programme to avoid deforestation. We have set a goal to source 80% of our wood fibre from certified forests by 2030 and we are actively engaged in multi-stakeholder dialogue and industry partnerships to help us achieve this goal. In 2023, we source 69% of our wood fibre from certified forests. We do not cause deforestation and we are committed to ensuring that at no point is deforestation or forest degradation occurring as a result of our forest practices or purchasing.

View All Certificates

  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

    International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

    ISO is the world’s largest developer of voluntary international standards. Mercer’s pulp facilities have been recognized as best-in-practice by earning the ISO 9001 certificate for Quality Management and the ISO 14001 certificate for Environmental Management. In addition, our Rosenthal and Stendal pulp mills, along with our Friesau sawmill, have been recognized with the ISO 50001 certification for Energy Management.

  • Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®)

    Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®)

    Mercer North America: FSC®-CO16399 | Mercer Germany: FSC®-C019862

    The FSC® is an international certification and labelling system dedicated to promoting responsible forest management. Chain-of-custody certifications track wood through the entire supply chain and provide the assurances that all of Mercer’s fibre purchases meet FSC® standards, as well as internal procurement policies.

  • Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

    Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)

    Mercer North America PEFC/26-31-139 | Mercer Germany: PEFC/04-31-0411

    The PEFC is the world’s largest forest certification system. The sustainability of Mercer’s wood supply is important for our continued environmental and economic success. All four of our pulp mills and our sawmills promote Sustainable Forest Management by purchasing certified wood encompassed in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)® and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) certification. Both of these standards fall under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)

    Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)

    Mercer Mass Timber MMT SFI® COC PRI-SFI-COC-2438.02; COC_CRT_SCS-SFI-COC-005918 | Mercer Peace River: PRI-SFI-FM-061; PRI-SFI-FS-061

    The SFI is a certification system in North America that is endorsed by the PEFC and part of the PEFC alliance. SFI shares the PEFC alliance’s promotion of sustainable forest management and its recognition in the supply chain. All of Mercer’s mass timber facilities in North America are covered by SFI Chain of Custody certification. Additionally, Mercer Peace River is certified to the SFI Fiber Sourcing Standard and the Forest Management Standard.

Sustainable Harvesting Using Natural Range Of Variation

Our professional foresters practice industry-leading forestry management. Ecosystem-Based Management directs sustainable, responsible forest harvests from a coarse filter perspective. This management approach emulates the natural processes and conditions responsible for generating the boreal as it existed in a natural state. It is based on theories like the Natural Range of Variation (NRV), a concept that explains how a natural state includes naturally occurring disturbances. “Managing to natural” provides conditions that create habitat for all boreal species.

Research like the Ecosystem Management Emulating Natural Disturbance (EMEND) project informs forest managers of the essential role disturbances play in the health of the boreal. This research work by the University of Alberta, supported by Mercer and others, validates the concepts of EBM and NRV.

High-value species will require a detailed plan to ensure habitat protection, with specific habitat requirements, and is managed and measured. By preserving the conditions relevant to an ecosystem, our use of Natural Range of Variation provides a system enabled to be naturally resilient.

Sustainably Managed Forests Provide an Important Ecosystem Service

We have an important role in the sustainability of the land and its use in all areas in which we live and work. In some jurisdictions, we have direct and regulated responsibilities for the health of the land base, while in others we play a smaller, consultative role with our wood supply partners. We manage or support the management of the forest cover in a way that maintains biodiversity and ecological integrity. This is why we work with the science of forest management practices that lead to reforestation (silviculture) success; and our planning and timber harvesting operations utilize methods to minimize negative impacts from roads, timber harvesting, and forest management activities. 

In many cases, we coordinate and integrate planning with other resource operators, Indigenous communities, and affected stakeholders to ensure detailed planning of harvest areas address the protection of Indigenous values, reforestation, wildlife habitat and biodiversity, watercourse protection, integration with other land uses, understory protection, structure retention, road development and reclamation, and visual quality.

Our Operations

  • Professional Foresters, Professional Practices

    While the ownership of the land base may be different in Canada than Germany, the standard for protection of all of the elements of the forest is the same. In addition to the fundamental watercourse and species habitat protection standards we adopt, one of the more visually obvious practices that we employ consistently in our planning is the retention of landscapes to replicate impacts on the forest that would have occurred naturally over time: ecosystem-based management emulating natural disturbances (EMEND), as directed by the University of Alberta and supporting associations.

    To see a harvest area planned by our Alberta foresters is to see an area with varying levels of retention, unusually shaped corridors, and buffers for important features; all designed to leave the impression that an area was impacted by wildfire or naturally occurring insect infestation.

Partnerships and Sustainable Forest Management

We are deeply vested in sustainable forest management. We maintain our own fleet of light footprint harvesting equipment and, more importantly, the skilled technicians to operate them. We have gained experience and the trust of private landowners and state forest managers over many years to manage the forests with an eye on ecosystem protection and sustainability. Our wood supply in Germany is sourced from sustainably managed forests through working relationships and the understanding of responsible forestry.

In Canada, we have developed partnerships with local businesses, including Indigenous communities. These partnerships allow us access to an expanded field of local knowledge about the ecosystems as well as provides our partners with opportunities for economic and career growth for their communities.